West Midlands woman wins award for helping blood cancer charity to save lives

A West Midlands woman has won a ‘Brummie’ award for her work to help save the lives of those in need of a blood stem cell donation. The Birmingham Mail’s Brummies is the new name for the Pride of Birmingham awards, honouring unsung city heroes. Kam Arora, who is from West Bromwich, won the ‘Community Champion’ award for her work as a volunteer hub leader for blood cancer charity DKMS. The Community Champion award was chosen by listeners to BBC Radio WM and announced at a ceremony in the Symphony Hall, Birmingham, on Friday, October 7th.

For many blood cancer patients, a blood stem cell donation is their only chance of survival but many patients never find the lifesaving blood stem cell donor match they need. That is why DKMS works to improve the chances of those seeking matching donors by recruiting potential stem cell donors to increase the pool of donors. Kam knows the importance of a large and diverse blood stem cell donor registry as her sister Sarbjit has lymphoma. Sarbjit is currently in remission but may need a blood stem cell donation in the future.

A mum of two who works full time as a GP practice manager, Kam has worked tirelessly to organize donor recruitment events for DKMS. She, along with her with fellow hub leaders, has registered almost 3,000 potential blood stem cell donors and raised over £15,000 for DKMS. She has also encouraged and supported others in her local community to organize their own donor registration events.

Speaking about her win and volunteer work for DKMS, Kam said: “I can't believe I won! I have never won anything in my life!

“When I was told I had been nominated, I just thought, 'That's cool, let's see what happens now.' I never in my wildest imagination thought I would win! This one is definitely for the team and everyone that helped us get this far. Thank you!”

Praising Kam for her dedication to the charity and congratulating her on her award, Shafia Begam, Senior Volunteer Manager at DKMS, said: "Kam 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. Everyone at DKMS is thrilled that she has won the award. It is so well deserved."

While Kam's fellow volunteers say she is, "awesome, so generous, kind-hearted and an absolute pleasure to work with."