UK charity the ACLT (African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust) are appealing urgently for help, as they have announced that they are at risk of closure.
Established by Beverley De-Gale & Orin Lewis in 1996 when their son Daniel needed to find a racially-matched bone marrow donor to treat his leukaemia, the ACLT was established when Ms De-Gale and Mr Lewis realised that there was severe lack of donors from Black and Mixed raced communities. Recognising the need, the couple set up the charity to help Daniel and others in need of a lifesaver from minority ethnic communities.
The charity has been instrumental in raising awareness about the need for bone marrow donations from ethnic minorities, and have been directly and indirectly accountable for the rise in numbers of potential Black/Mixed Race donors from 550 when the charity started in 1996 to to around 27,000.
Daniel De-Gale won his battle against Leukaemia in 1999, when, aged 12 he received a bone marrow transplant from an unrelated American donor, Doreene Carney. Daniel was one of the first black recipients of a bone marrow transplant from an unrelated donor in the UK.
While free of cancer, Daniel suffered health complications that led to multiple organ failure in October 2008, and he died aged 21.
The ACLT’s long-term funding has been halted and the charity are only funded until March 2011. They need to raise £80,000 by the end of March in order to continue regular service and meet their core costs.
With three months to raise funds, the ACLT are appealing for regular donations and one-off donations. Supporters can donate via direct debit, online card payment, mail and text message. Click for more information on donating.