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Life saving donor event for 7-year-old with Leukaemia

Rhiane Francois could need a life-saving bone marrow transplant if chemotherapy doesn't work Credit: ITV News Central

A bone marrow registration event is taking place in Coventry today to try to find a potentially life-saving transplant for a 7-year-old girl with leukaemia.

Rhiane Francois has Acute Myeloid Leukaemia and is undergoing chemotherapy, but if that doesn't work she'll need a bone marrow transplant.

Being half Indian, half Mauritian, she has a reduced chance of finding a donor match because there are fewer Asian and Black people signed up as bone marrow donors.

Today, the event at the Gurdwara Nanak Prakash in Coventry aims to tackle that. Between 1.00pm and 6:00pm people from every background are being encouraged to sign up to the transplant register.

And it does work, last month 2-year-old Guarav Bains from Tipton in the Black Country found a stem cell match after a similar push to encourage more donors to come forward. He is in hospital after having his operation on Thursday.

This week Rhiane has received a letter of support from the Queen, as the little girl tries to find herself a donor match.


  1. John Willats

Rik Basra continues bone marrow donation awareness campaign

A police officer recovering from Leukemia has been honoured by a Leicester Gurdwara after helping to recruit hundreds of potential bone marrow donors.

A shortage of donors in the South Asian community meant Rik Basra could not find a match in the UK, and eventually found a donor in Germany.

He now campaigns to encourage more South Asian donors to sign up.

Today he took part in a donor drive at the Sikh Community Centre in Leicester, as part of a health awareness and information day.

He was then given a ceremonial robe at the Guru Tegh Bahadur Gurdwara, in recognition of his efforts to raise awareness of bone marrow donation.

Bone marrow donor drive gets underway

A bone marrow donor recruitment drive is about to start at a community centre in Leicester.

It has been organised by Rik Basra, the Leicestershire Police officer who has pledged to sign up more South Asian donors after his own battle with leukaemia.

Rik Basra and his wife Kas at the event in Leicester Credit: ITV Central
Volunteers ready to sign up potential bone marrow donors Credit: ITV Central

Rik Basra to attend bone marrow donor recruitment event

Rik Basra is recovering from leukaemia Credit: ITV Central

A Leicestershire police officer who is recovering from leukaemia will be on hand to sign up potential bone marrow donors at a recruitment event today (2 December).

Rik Basra was diagnosed with the cancer over a year ago. Despite donor drives in Leicester and Birmingham, a match was not found. A suitable donor was eventually located in Germany. In December 2011, Rik had a transplant of donated cells.

This year, recruitment events were held in Leicester during the city's Diwali celebrations, to encourage more South Asian donors to come forward. Rik did not attend the events and so today's event will be an emotional experience for the police officer. He wants to personally sign up the first donor.

The event is being held at the Sikh Community Centre, part of the Guru Tegh Bahadur Gurdwara, in Leicester from 10.00. It is part of a health awareness day organised by both the Rik Basra Leukaemia Campaign and Irwin Mitchell Solicitors.

Diwali celebrations find over 200 bone marrow donors

Nearly 250 people have signed up to become bone marrow donors during Diwali celebrations Credit: ITV Central

Nearly 250 people have signed up to become bone marrow donors during Diwali celebrations in Leicester.

Events were organised by former police officer Rik Basra, who's campaigned to get more black and asian people on the register, after struggling to find a transplant last year.


More South Asian prospective bone marrow donors needed

The wife of a Leicestershire police officer who is recovering from leukaemia has started a campaign to encourage more people from the South Asian community to become prospective bone marrow donors.

Kas Basra says her husband Rik was lucky to find a match but says she is worried others may not be so fortunate. The first event, as part of the campaign organised by Rik and Kas, was held at the Belgrave Neighbourhood Centre, during the Diwali lights switch-on festivities last night (4 November).

Police officer from Leicester recruits Asian stem cell donors

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