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Jackie's story

Jackie needs a donor to save her life. In late 2021, her life was turned upside down when she developed acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL).

Jackie shares her story.

"Hi, my name is Jackie and I’m half English and half Lebanese. I was born in Beirut but have lived in the UK since I was five years old.

"In November 2021, I was diagnosed with ALL and now I need to find a matching donor to donate their blood stem cells to me.

"I have always led an active and busy life and I just thought that I was a bit run down, but after the diagnosis, my life changed overnight. I was immediately put into isolation and aggressive chemotherapy began. After many months of treatment, I am now thankfully in remission and on maintenance drugs, but as with other blood disorders, leukaemia often comes back. My only hope for a sustained recovery and prolonging my life is a blood stem cell transplant."

More mixed-ethnicity donors are needed

"The prospects of finding a compatible donor if you’re a white European are over 70%, but if you’re of mixed ethnicity like me, the chances are half that - 37% precisely. A two-in-three chance of survival feels like decent odds but one in three is frighteningly low.

"Compatible donors will have to be of similar ethnicity to me but not necessarily the exact same. Sadly, there is a chronic shortage of diverse donors but I know that the right person is out there somewhere. Whatever happens to me, I am also determined to leave a legacy in which people like me, from ethnically diverse heritage, have a better chance of finding a donor.

"Whether you have similar parentage to me or not, do think about becoming a donor and click on one of the links below. You could save a life. My life.

"Thank you, or as they say in the Lebanon, Shukran ktir."

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