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Asians Urgently Needed to Save Lives

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UK based charity Desi Donors are urgently calling for members of the Asian community to come forward and save the lives of Asian patients who are desperately waiting to find a suitable bone marrow donor. One patient who needs to find a donor urgently is 10 year old Amun Ali who lives in the Small Heath area of Birmingham.

Desi Donors which launched earlier this year is proactively helping people like Amun Ali find the right match so they can help them live, however there are not enough Asians on the register so matches are not being found.

Amun Ali has a rare condition known as Severe Immune Deficiency. It is a condition that makes Amun very weak, for example: If Amun were to get a minor infection it could be extremely life threatening. Over the years Amun has been in (H.D.U) High Dependency Unit on many occasions, where minor infections such as chickenpox have got worse and put him in quite a bad state of health.

A special clinic will be held in Birmingham on Sunday 25th October 2009. The clinic will be an opportunity for Asians in the West Midlands to come and join the bone marrow register. The more Asians joining the register will mean the more chance of saving the lives of people like Amun. Sadly Amun has already lost a 4-year-old brother to the same condition because a suitable match could not be found.

“I am appealing for a donor to come forward, as I have already lost a 4 year old son to this condition. Amun takes powerful steroids, medication and has an infusion every week, where a nurse comes to my house. The doctors have told me that even with this medication, there is still a chance Amun could get an infection and not make it. Having a match for the bone marrow would mean Amun would have a normal life without any medication. Me and my wife and children would also have a normal family life. To find someone with the right bone marrow for Amun would answer my family's prayers. Amun is a happy and bubbly little boy with a ready smile for everyone,” said Amun’s Father Ashgar.

Healthy people aged 18 – 40 from the Asian community are urged to come to the clinic to find out more. The clinic is being held from 2pm – 5pm at the ASRA Health and Social Care Centre, Fenton Street, Smethwick, West Midlands, B66 1HR.

The blood sample taken at the registration clinic is tested to establish the tissue type and the results will be stored on the Anthony Nolan Trust’s confidential database. As a new member of the register the donor receives a registration card and written confirmation of being a potential life saver. A donor may be found to be a match for a patient almost immediately or may wait many years before being asked to donate – and in some cases may never be asked to donate at all, if no corresponding matches are requested.

There is a 1 in 3 chance of a White person finding a match, but shockingly there is only a 1 in 125,000 chance of an Asian person finding the right match. A successful match, when a bone marrow donors tissue type matches that of a patient, could mean the difference between life and death. Most matches are found from within the same ethnic community as the patient; the Asian community is seriously under-represented on the bone marrow register, and more donors are urgently needed.

There are many young children in the UK with a major problem: they have blood disorders and without a bone marrow donor their chances of survival are slim. We urgently need members of the Asian community to join the bone marrow register and help save the lives of these children and others,” Desi Donors.

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