Time running out for registered bone marrow donor diagnosed with leukaemia
PUBLISHED: 09:36 01 October 2013 | UPDATED: 14:08 01 October 2013
African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust
Management consultant Roger Moore has been a regular ‘lifesaver’ blood-donor for 10 years and is on the Bone Marrow register—but now needs a life-saver himself after being diagnosed with leukaemia.
Every 18 minutes: someone is diagnosed with blood cancer in Britain
Every 10 minutes: blood cancer takes a life somewhere in the world
The chances of finding a bone marrow match in the Black community, however, are slim.
So the 36-year-old who lives at the Royal Docks in east London has started a campaign for ‘hero donors’ to help those like himself who needed a stem cell transplant.
Roger was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia on July 3, an aggressive life-threatening blood cancer, after being sent by doctors at Newham Hospital’s A&E to specialists at Bart’s London Clinic.
“My diagnosis has a bitter irony,” Roger revealed. “Doctors told me that they had found a perfect match – only to realise it was me they found on the register.
One-in-100,000: The chance of African Caribbean people finding a unrelated bone marrow donor match
One-in-five: The chance of White British finding an unrelated match
“The odds of finding a Black donor match are around one-in-100,000, but there are only 800,000 on the register from all ethnic groups in total.”
Roger’s parents are from Barbados. A genetically-matched donor offers the best chance of survival. But very few Black donors have signed up.
“I didn’t expect leukaemia—that was a bit of a shock,” he recalls.
“It hit my family much harder than me. My parents are facing the prospect of me dying before they do.”
Roger is occupying himself launching his ‘Be The Hero’ campaign to find more donors while this week undergoing his third chemotherapy treatment at Bart’s—undertaking media interviews from his hospital bed.
“Doctors haven’t given me ‘an expiry date’,” he tells you wryly. “But I have Type 5 leukaemia which means there’s no long-term existence without a donor, perhaps two to five years.
“I am trying to take all steps I can to avoid that happening.”
His sister Rhiannon, 30, was tested, but disappointingly didn’t make a match—nor did his parents Leroy, 65, and Celeste, 60.
Roger travelled the world as a top management consultant who had everything to live for.
All he needs now is the stem cell match to save his life.
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