Seema Malhotra MP attended an event to raise awareness to encourage as many people from Asian backgrounds to register for stem cell donation.
The event, held in parliament, also highlighted the cases of Kaiya (aged 5) and Rajie (aged 11) who have both been diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL). Despite both being treated with chemotherapy since their diagnosis, their best chance of survival is a blood stem cell donation from a matching donor. However, this search is made more difficult due to their South Asian heritage, they are three times less likely to find a perfect match.
According to the Anthony Nolan charity, currently, donors from Asian or other minority ethnic backgrounds make up just 16 percent of the register and patients only have a 20.5 percent chance of finding the best possible donor match. This is compared to 69 percent for people with white, European heritage.
Individuals can register to become donors with the Anthony Nolan charity if they are aged 16-30 and more information about how to do this can be found on their website: www.anthonynolan.org
People can also register with the DKMS charity if they are aged 17-55 and more information can be found at: www.dkms.org.uk/en.