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Lifesaving partnership inspired by first black bone marrow transplant recipient

A new campaign aims to sign up thousands of black and mixed race bone marrow donors in memory of Daniel De-Gale, the UK's first black bone marrow transplant recipient. After a long struggle to find a match Daniel received a bone marrow transplant from a stranger which was a success. However Daniel sadly died years later at age 21 from an unrelated condition

On the sixth anniversary of his death the collaboration between the African Caribbean Leukemia Trust (the charity set up by Daniel's parents) and the Anthony Nolan Trust blood cancer charity wants to encourage more black donors. Less than 20% of black transplant patients can find a bone marrow match because they usually need to be matched with someone of their own ethnicity.

"Like so many other families, we faced an agonising wait to find a matching donor for Daniel; the odds were stacked against us, as we were told that there were only 550 black people on the Anthony Nolan register at that time, despite years of campaigning. At times we felt helpless, but we realised we could make a huge difference for Daniel and others like him if we addressed the lack of awareness head-on, so we set up the ACLT. The answer to this heart-breaking situation was in our own communities - and they truly did us, and Daniel, proud. "Now we need the next generation of young African-Caribbean people to follow this example and sign up to the Anthony Nolan register today. If you're 16 to 30, you could give people like Daniel a future and end the inequality they face when searching for a donor."

– Beverley De-Gale, Mother to Daniel De-Gale

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Mixed race communities 'hold the key' to saving Sonia's life

Beverley De-Gale OBE, the co-founder of the bone marrow and blood donation charity ACLT, says:

"Sonia is under no illusions having experienced heartbreak, seeing her mother increasingly debilitated from leukaemia.....

"....A bone marrow transplant represents the greatest chance now for her and her family not having to suffer the consequence of her mother a little over a year ago.

"If you share any of Sonia's racial hertiage, I urge you to contact the ACLT to register as a bone marrow donor or to attend our forthcoming bone marrow recruitment drives being held in Shepherds Bush and Notting Hill on February 26th and March 2nd respectively, in Sonia's name.

"Sonia needs an unrelated bone marrow donor NOW and the black, Indian, Chinese and mixed race communities hold the key to help Sonia beat the disease and most importantly to save her life.

"It's Sonia today, but tomorrow Sonia could be someone you know and love dearly and so please take the time to think seriously about completing a short application and giving a small saliva or blood sample to see if you could save Sonia's life."