Matthew joins call for increase in ethnic minority blood donations

Matthew has joined colleagues to call for more donors from Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds to join the stem cell registry. 

Kaiya (aged 5) and Rajie (aged 11) have both been diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL). Despite both being treated with chemotherapy since their diagnosis, their best chance of survival is a blood stem cell donation from a matching donor. However, this search is made more difficult due to their South Asian heritage; they are three times less likely to find a perfect match. 

According to the Anthony Nolan charity, currently, donors from Asian or other ethnic minority backgrounds make up just 16 percent of the register and patients only have a 20.5 percent chance of finding the best possible donor match. This is compared to 69 percent for people with white, European heritage. 

The ‘Cure Kaiya’ and ‘Match for Rajie’ campaigns have already had a great response and hundreds of individuals have registered to join the stem cell registry across the UK.

Matthew said: "I was pleased to join my colleagues and Kaya and Rajie's families in Parliament. It is vitally important that we encourage as many people as possible to join the register."

People can register to become donors with the Anthony Nolan charity if they are aged 16-30 and more information about how to do this can be found on their website: www.anthonynolan.org