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Pass it On Leicester

I thought you all might like to know about a fantastic campaign that's taking place at the moment in Leicester, organised by a transplantee with the objective of raising awareness and signing up potential Donors.

Rik Basra is a family man from Leicester who contracted acute myeloid Leukaemia (AML). Riks only hope of survival was a stem cell transplant, Rik’s lineage determined that the best chance of finding a matching donor would be from someone of Indian heritage.

An initial search of the UK database proved fruitless and it became clear that there was a dire shortage of “Asian” donors, in fact there was a shortage for all minorities. An international search was launched and eventually a matching donor was found in Germany.

The Rik Basra Leukaemia Campaign was set up in October 2011 by Rik and his wife Kas who having faced the anguish of a frantic search for a donor against the clock want to do what they can to save others the same torment. The campaign has a key aspiration to do what it can to address the overall shortfall in donors but with a particular focus on the under-represented “South Asian” community.

Throughout the month of September Rik and Kas have organised a series of daily events at prominent locations around Leicester, including sports teams, large businesses, colleges, universities and hospitals to raise awareness of blood cancers and to enable potential donors to join the register.

The 'Pass it On' campaign is now nearing the end of it's run and I took part in the event yesterday at Leicester Royal Infirmary alongside other Rik and his supporters including other transplant recipients and our fantastic medical team.

Despite being a quiet day around the hospital, many potential donors came forward to register and give their saliva samples. I believe by the end of the day over 40 new donors had been registered but the numbers overall to date for the month are in excess of 1500! There are still some big venues to happen over the next few days up to the end of the month so that total could climb significantly.

What a fantastic effort by Rik, Kas and their team, and the people of Leicester. Lets hope that some of these potential donors go on to make a difference to many lives by being a match for somebody that needs a stem cell transplant.

For more information please have a look at Riks website at www.rikbasra.com



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