Stars support bone marrow plea

Registry gets a boost from big names

by hellomagazine.com

Stars of the black community, from original Apprentice Tim Campbell to Blood Diamond's David Harewood, singer Simon Webbe to footballer Jermain Defoe, came out to show their support for the relaunch of the ACLT, the young charity that campaigns to increase the number of black and mixed race donors on the bone marrow donor registry.

Since their son Daniel was diagnosed with leukaemia 12 years ago Beverley De-Gale and Orin Lewis have increased the numbers on the registry from 500 to 25,000 - and saved at least 14 lives as a result. They still need more black and mixed race people – particularly men – under the age of 40 to come forward to register. This will increase the chance of a black or mixed race person finding a match if they become ill from one-in-100,000 to nearer the one-in-five ratio for white Europeans.

In a moving speech David Harewood, who has recently appeared in TV's The Last Enemy and The Palace – and who became a donor himself last year when his bone marrow was found to be a match for a leukaemia sufferer – said: "I am and always will be in complete awe of Orin and Beverly. I'm astounded by their strength and deeply moved by Daniel's story."

With new patrons Keisha Buchanan from the Sugababes, footballer Micah Richards and boxer David Haye, the charity is hoping to increase the number of black and mixed race people on the registry to 60,000, and to eventually set up its own registry.

For more details or to donate, visit www.aclt.org or call 0208 240 4480.

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