Chi calls for more BAME donors on stem cell donors list
Newcastle Central MP Chi Onwurah met with constituent Blessing Adenne, whose tragic experience of childhood blood cancer has led her to campaign for more people from ethnic minority backgrounds to donate blood stem cells.
Mrs Adenne told Ms Onwurah that she has already tragically lost their middle daughter, Valerie, to this deadly disease. Their four-year old daughter Praise also suffers from it and is in hospital in Newcastle recovering from a recent blood stem cell transplant. Unfortunately, doctors were unable to find a match for Blessing’s children due to the small pool of donors and Praise’s transplant had to go ahead with a donor who was not a complete match
Blessing and her husband John have been seeking to raise awareness of the need for donors especially from African and Asian backgrounds.
Chi said “I am so humbled by the efforts of Blessing and John, to encourage people especially from BAME background to register as blood stem cell donors, even in the midst of their own loss. They are showing so much grace and courage in the face of such heart-breaking tragedy. Blessing and John have been working hard to raise awareness in Nigeria and other countries, as well as locally and across the UK. I support their campaign to encourage BAME background people to register on the donor list. You never know when somebody close to you may need a transplant, and hearing the tragic events that Blessing, John and their daughter Praise have faced really emphasises the importance that people register to become donors if they can.”
Registration in the UK is relatively easy and promoted by charities such as DKMS https://www.dkms.org.uk/en/praise. In other countries registration can be very expensive and I shall be writing to the Foreign and Development Office to ask what they are doing to support the important work of registering potential donors across the world.