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‘Be The Hero’ campaign launched at Stratford to find bone marrow donors

PUBLISHED: 13:42 15 October 2013 | UPDATED: 14:33 15 October 2013

Roger Moore relaxes at London Clinic where he's having chemotherapy

Roger Moore relaxes at London Clinic where he's having chemotherapy

African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust

Management consultant Roger Moore who has been diagnosed with leukaemia launches his ‘Be The Hero’ campaign in east London on Thursday to try and find blood donors from the Black community.

He appears at Stratford’s Westfield Shopping Centre hoping to find potential bone marrow donors aged 17 to 55 to sign up and give a simple swab, then go on the donor register to help those like himself who needed a stem cell transplant.

Roger has been a regular blood-donor himself for 10 years and is on the Bone Marrow register—only to discover in July that he had Acute Myeloid Leukaemia after being sent by doctors at Newham Hospital’s A&E to specialists at Bart’s London Clinic.

But chances of finding a bone marrow match in the Black community are slim, so the 36-year-old from Silvertown has started a campaign for ‘hero donors’.

“My parents are facing the prospect of me dying before they do,” he said. “Being diagnosed with leukaemia was a shock which hit my family much harder than me.”

Roger’s family are from Barbados—but disappointingly didn’t make a match. Odds of finding a Black donor match are around one-in-100,000.

He has Type 5 leukaemia which means “there’s no long-term existence without a donor.” Surviving beyond two to five years would be unlikely.

His campaign launch is backed by the African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust charity which recruits bone marrow, blood and organ donors from ethnic minorities.

Its founder Beverley De-Gale said: “Thousands of people die every year waiting for matching bone marrow.

“The loss of life is preventable if more people took the time to donate bone marrow.

“Black people are under-represented on all registers—we need them to sign up.”

Thursday’s ‘Be The Hero’ event at Westfield Stratford Shopping Centre starts at 10am and runs till 8pm.


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