2 August 2018
The England and Manchester City football star, Raheem Sterling, has made an emotional plea for more people to register as a potential blood stem cell donor on behalf of 12-year-old Damary.
Damary was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia aged nine and now doctors have confirmed that his best chance of survival is to find a matching blood stem cell donor.
Guys this is very important, we need to help this kid. Please read below. . . At only twelve years old Damary Dawkins has been fighting Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (a cancer of the blood and bone marrow) since he was nine. . . Doctors have confirmed his only hope of survival is through stem cell treatment. . . The worldwide register has no matches for him, the problem here is that there are not enough Afro-Caribbean donors on the register. . . . If you are of Afro-Caribbean descent please sign up to be a donor, you could be a match for Damary or someone else that needs your help. . . Visit the link in bio for more information. #deletebloodcancer #AfroCaribbeandonors #domore #lifeisprecious #DamaryDawkins #help #share #repost
Finding a lifesaver
The footballer called on his social media followers to register as a lifesaver-in-waiting, saying: “Guys this is serious we need to help this kid!.... You could be a match for Damary or someone else that needs your help.”
Unfortunately there isn’t a matching donor within Damary’s family and he is now relying on a complete stranger to become his potential lifesaver.
Like in Damary’s case, two in three people with a blood cancer in the UK won’t find a matching blood stem cell donor in their family and need to rely on an unrelated donor.
Due to Damary’s African-Caribbean heritage the search is made even harder as there is a lack of black, Asian and mixed race donors on the registry. To help him and others in need of a matching donor, his family have launched a #Donate4Damary campaign.
Despite 1.4 million potential donors being on the UK’s aligned stem cell registry, only 19% of stem cell donors recruited in 2017 were from a minority ethnic background.
Therefore, Damary and other patients with a minority ethnic background have just a 20% chance of finding the best possible stem cell donor match, compared to 69% for people with northern European backgrounds.
How you can help
f you’d like to register as a potential blood stem cell donor you can check your eligibility and sign up today. Anyone aged between 17-55 and in general good health can go on standby as a potential lifesaver.
If you’re not eligible or you’re already registered, why not check the other ways to get involved in the fight against blood cancer or help us cover donor registration costs?