A stranger saved my life by joining the Anthony Nolan stem cell registry.Be a hero today and join the team fighting blood cancer.
In 2011, I received some devastating news. The leukaemia I had beaten two years previously had returned. I was told that without a bone marrow transplant I simply wouldn’t survive.
I learnt that my best chance of a match would be someone from the same ethnic background. Although I was born and brought up in Leicester, my heritage is Indian – but I discovered Asian donors make up just 4% of the Anthony Nolan bone marrow register.
Days turned into weeks, and things were getting desperate. The clock was ticking down. Then, when we had all but given up hope, I received life changing news… I was told they had found a donor.
A stranger had gone to the trouble of registering – a selfless act which would save my life; an act that gave my wife and kids back their husband and father.
My goal: to save lives
Sadly my story is not unique – right now there are many others just like me going through the same nightmare. That’s why we started the Rik Basra Leukaemia Campaign. We have a simple goal: to recruit new donors to the Anthony Nolan stem cell registry so other families don’t have to face the agonising wait for a donor that I did.
Together with my wife Kas and many incredibly passionate volunteers and supporters, we work to help increase the size and diversity of the Anthony Nolan register.
Every 20 minutes someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer and I hope my experience will lead to a time when it becomes far easier for matches to be found for all people with blood cancer in need of a lifesaving transplant, regardless of their ethnic background.
You can be a hero
Many people think heroes are people like Arnie or Rambo, but in the real world, heroes are ordinary people like you and me who step up to the plate in someone’s hour of need. My hero was a total stranger who came through for me just in time and I will be forever grateful to them.
So I beg you,if you’re aged 16-30 please join the team… you could save a life and be someone’s hero too.