APPEALS: MAY BROWN – HER JOURNEY
May Brown was just 21 years old when she was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid leukaemia in July 2015.
Alongside her husband (ex-soldier) Mike, three-year-old daughter Selina, and supported by blood cancer charity ACLT, she launched a #SaveMayBrown campaign in August last year.
The campaign was in response to the Home Office denying her sister Martha Williams, entry into the UK to donate her bone marrow (stem cells) after it was confirmed Martha was a 10 out of 10 match for May.
As a result of May’s efforts, over 65,000 signed her #SaveMayBrown e-petition via Change.org which requested for the Home Office to overturn their decision and grant Martha entry into the UK for the transplant to take place.
The Home Office overturned their decision within a week of the campaign being launched, with Martha arriving a few days later.
May’s transplant was initially delayed as she became unwell with a virus and required further chemotherapy treatment before the transplant could take place.
In January, this year the transplant went ahead and May received her sister’s donated stem cells. Martha returned to Nigeria April this year, having spent time post the transplant to support her sister back to health. May was declared to be free of the illness, however, one week after her sister left to go back to Nigeria (April) this year, May relapsed.
May and her family were told by her consultants last week there was nothing more the doctors could do for her, however, she continued to stay strong-willed to fight the disease.
May passed away, with her husband and loved ones by her side last Friday, at King’s College Hospital, London.
May’s husband Mike Brown has said:
“May will forever be remembered in our hearts. She was a strong, beautiful, supportive, wonderful wife and mother; Selina and I will truly miss her.
May was incredibly grateful to the support given to her from ACLT, and I echo those words on behalf of me and our daughter Selina.
May will forever remain in our hearts.”
Beverley De-Gale (co-founder of ACLT and mother to UK’s first black recipient of an unrelated stem cell transplant) said:
“On Friday 14th July, May Brown passed away surrounded by her husband Mike and her loved ones. In the 18 months, I’ve known her, I can say May was a remarkable woman who fought hard to beat this terrible illness.
Every member of the ACLT team is extremely saddened by her passing. Our thoughts are with her husband Mike, three-year-old daughter Selina and May’s sister Martha.”
Through May’s campaign, many thousands were added to the stem cell register in the UK and Nigeria, with the additional support shown by May’s local MP Richard Drax and Labour MP Dawn Butler.
BBC RADIO DOCUMENTARY
BBC Radio 4 Featured May’s Journey in an emotional 30 minute documentary
MAY AND MARTHA’S REUNION
On Monday 24 October 2016. Martha flew into Heathrow Airport from her home in Nigeria for an emotional reunion with her sister May. This is a major step to continue the long journey of saving the life of May Brown
WE DID IT!
ACLT are overjoyed to announce the UK Home Office has allowed entry of May Brown’s sister to the UK. It was confirmed late on Friday 21 October 2016.
An official statement from the Home Office reads:
Immigration Minister, Robert Goodwill, said:
“I have carefully considered the case of May Brown and decided that her sister will be granted leave to enter the UK given the compassionate and exceptional circumstances.”
ACLT would like to thank each of our followers who signed the petition, shared the story by sending an email, tweet or Facebook post. With your support we were able to surpass over 60,000 supporters on the online petition we set up last week Thursday.