Daniel De-Gale Blood Donation Month (also recognised as #Donate4Daniel), is back and will run between 3 – 31 October 2016, at the start of Black History Month. The campaign encourages people from minority groups to sign up as blood donors, or if already on the register, to make a donation during the month of October and continue to be a regular blood donor going forward. Females can donate every 16 weeks (3 times a year) and males every 12 weeks (4 times a year).
SOCIAL MEDIA CHALLENGE
Celebrities backing this year’s campaign include British TV personality Jamelia, who decided to nominate another two people to do the same. Jamelia will announce the two people she plans to nominate across social media on October 3rd, the first day of the campaign.
NOT ENOUGH DONORS
When it comes to blood donation in the UK Black people are currently under-represented. Around 3.5% of the population in England is African or Caribbean, but less than 1%* of active donors coming from African, Caribbean or mixed race communities.
WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO DONATE
The need for more African and Caribbean people to join the blood donation register remains an important ask today as it did nearly 20 years ago when ACLT was founded. Some blood groups such as B positive, and rarer sub types such as Ro, are also more common in black communities.
SICKLE CELL DISEASE
People from black communities are more likely to have conditions such as Sickle Cell Disease, which causes their red blood cells to behave differently. Some people with Sickle Cell Disease require regular transfusions to stay healthy. There are currently more people living with Sickle Cell Disease than there are active black and mixed-race donors.
ACLT support’s patients like Toheed who suffer from sickle cell disease. Read his story here
During the last 3-4 years of Beverley and Orin’s son Daniel, he had been diagnosed with Haemolytic Anaemia (abnormal breakdown of red blood cells) and became reliant on receiving 3-5 units of blood every week. The generosity of the (primarily) white British community, helped to preserve Daniel’s life, enabling him to continue his degree in Sports Physiotherapy at the London Metropolitan University in North London. Without this lifeline, Daniel’s life would have been cut much earlier.
Beverley De-Gale OBE said: “Daniel’s doctors told us Daniel would need blood transfusions for the rest of his life. Talking from a first-hand experience blood disorders affects families in so many ways. It is always there, and many people don’t understand the pain that it can cause. I’m very grateful to all who give blood, but it is vital more people understand the need for African and Caribbean donors, so patients can get the closely matched blood they need.”
#Donate4Daniel provides the community with an opportunity to become a blood donor during Black History Month on mass; a key time which focuses on the achievements of the African, Caribbean and mixed race communities, and their contribution to help make a significant difference within the communities they live. By giving just one hour of their time, ethnic minorities can come together and save lives. To register and book an appointment, call NHS Blood and Transplant 0300 123 23 23 to register to join the blood register, quoting code R20 when joining to book a blood donation clinic near to their home or place of work.
Orin Lewis OBE said: “Daniel is the reason why ACLT is here today. He was the inspiration behind the charity 20 years ago when it was founded, and he continues to be the inspiration today. Daniel gave hope to people living with leukaemia everywhere. We hope as a community this is recognised on the 8th anniversary of his passing. We want the community to come together to celebrate his legacy and to donate one unit (470 ml) of blood on mass. With just one unit of blood having the ability to save three lives and up to seven babies, we’re asking all members of the ethnic community to do something small to achieve something amazing; and become a life saver.”
Beverley adds: “We are grateful to long-term celebrity supporter Jamelia, who has hopes to spread awareness on a large scale across social media with her challenge of nominating three people. I hope the community see the importance of the challenge and willingly accept!”
To book your appointment, please call the NHS Blood and Transplant call centre on 0300 123 23 23 quoting code ‘R20’ or visit www.blood.co.uk