I was very proud to support the African and Caribbean Leukemia Trust’s Bonded by Blood campaign this month, giving blood in memory of Richard Okorogheye at Lambeth Town Hall. Fewer than 5% of blood
donors who gave blood in the last year were from Black, Asian and Minority ethnic communities, even though some rare blood types are only found within people from these backgrounds.
This year, the NHS is looking for 16,000 new donors from Black African, Black Caribbean or mixed ethnicity
backgrounds as demand rises for life-saving transfusions for people with sickle cell disease.
Sickle cell is the fastest growing genetic disorder in the UK, affecting 15,000 people with around 300 babies born with the blood disorder each year; the illness can cause organ failure, stroke or loss of vision, sometimes even leading to death.
I’d urge everyone to give blood but particularly people with Black heritage. With no more than 15 minutes of your time, you can do something that may well save someone else’s life.
Find out more about giving blood over at the ACLT website: https://aclt.org/donate/join-the-blood-register/