NEWS: MY BLACK SKIN… WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU?
To coincide with Black History Month 2015 ACLT (African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust) launched a short film in partnership with NHS Blood and Transplant entitled ‘My Black Skin’, to highlight the continued shortage of volunteer black and mixed race donors on the blood, stem cell (bone marrow) and organ donor registers.
‘My Black Skin‘, a poem inspired by Black History Month, written by actor and writer Nicholas Pinnock (Channel 4 Top Boy, Sky One Fortitude), launched last October marking the 7th anniversary since ACLT’s inspirational spearhead Daniel De-Gale passed away. The film which is a talking heads style piece stars over 20 celebrities from the UK television and music industry including musicians such as Tinie Tempah, Beverley Knight, entrepreneur and Apprentice winner (Series 1) Tim Campbell, actors Jimmy Akingbola (BBC1 Holby City and US drama Arrow), Ashley Walters (Channel 4 Top Boy) and comedian Javone Prince (BBC1 Javone Prince Show, Channel 4 PhoneShop). Also featured are patients who have been supported by ACLT from diagnosis right through to receiving treatment.
Launched as part of #Donate4Daniel; ACLT’s annual October campaign which encourages individuals of all races, (with an emphasis on black donors) to join the donor registries en masse.
HELP TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Black people are currently under represented as blood donors, with less than 1%* of active donors coming from Black African, Black Caribbean or mixed race communities. There are currently more people living with Sickle Cell Disease than there are active black and mixed race donors. There are also fewer black organ donors, as last year only 20 out of the 1,282 deceased donors in the UK were from the black community. In contrast there are currently around 600 black people waiting for an organ transplant with the vast majority of those in need of a donor kidney.
The need for more African or Caribbean people to join the stem cell register remains an important ask today as it did nearly 20 years ago when ACLT was founded. This is because around 70% of patients have to rely on a matched volunteer donor, identified through the Anthony Nolan and NHS Stem Cell Registry. People from black backgrounds are less likely to find a match than Caucasian patients.
Spread the word, share the video across social media using the hashtags #MyBlackSkin and #donate4daniel