7 October 2016
We are delighted to announce that our Volunteer Hub Leader, Kam Arora, has won the Brummies 2016 ‘Community Champion’ award! Formerly know as the Pride of Birmingham Awards, 'The Brummies' celebrate the everyday heroes living in Birmingham and the surrounding area.
It is an amazing achievement and is testament to the fantastic and dedicated work she does to help give those with blood cancer a second chance of life. Kam, along with her fellow hub leaders, has registered almost 3,000 people onto the UK stem cell registry and has raised over £15,000!
Find out why Kam started volunteering for us and why more people are needed to register as potential blood stem cell donors:
We spoke to Kam shortly after she won her award:
What inspired you to volunteer for DKMS?
"Unfortunately, as is the case for many people, I got involved with DKMS when my sister was diagnosed with lymphoma in October 2014 and needed a blood stem cell donation."
What does your volunteering for DKMS involve?
"Volunteering for DKMS involves arranging to set up a table with some posters and information and talking to people about registering. This helps raise awareness as well as recruiting donors onto the register by taking a two minute cheek swab. Most importantly, it also involves getting your friends and family involved in helping too. Without them, this would be very difficult."
What have been the highlights so far?
"The biggest highlight is inevitably finding a donor for someone because their life can be saved in this way, which means the world to their family and friends. Another highlight was when my team (Robbie, Harkamal and Jas) and I worked together to organise a fundraising dinner and dance through which we raised more than £10,000 for DKMS."
What is it like working in a team as part of a volunteer hub?
"Without the team none of what we do would be possible. We really are a team where four have become one!"
How does it feel to have won a Brummie?
"I am truly shocked and humbled that anyone would think I was worthy of such an award. This award is for my team, family and friends, without whom we would not have come so far. Thank you so much for your help and support. I am a very proud Brummie. Thank you to everyone from the bottom of my heart for voting for me."
Finally, what would you say to someone to encourage them to volunteer for DKMS?
"It is so easy to do and so satisfying. Come and join us to help find a donor for everyone that needs one. One in two people will get cancer at some time in their life and that is scary....so let's get volunteering and put more donors on the register. Join us on one of our recruitment drives to see how easy it can be."
"I would also like to say a huge thank you to the Birmingham Mail for supporting DKMS during their patient appeals. This has helped raise awareness and made many people register and more importantly, helped to save the lives of those that need a blood stem cell donation."
Shafia Begam, Senior Volunteering Manager at DKMS, said: ʺKam has stood out in the cold and rain and given up her evenings and weekends to try and save lives. She is the reason Birmingham is a hotspot for potential blood stem cell donors. Congratulations Kam!ʺ
If you are inspired by Kam and would like to know more about volunteering with DKMS, please visit our volunteering page.