Stem cell transplant mum calls for more ethnic donors

Leukaemia sufferer May Brown
Image caption May Brown was diagnosed with leukaemia in June 2015, after unsuccessful chemotherapy she was put on the list for a stem cell transplant

A mother with leukaemia is urging more black and ethnic minority people to register as stem cell donors as she waits for a transplant.

May Brown was diagnosed with leukaemia in June last year and has had trouble finding a suitable donor.

Ethnic minority sufferers have a 20% chance of finding a match, whereas white patients have a 60% chance, according to blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan.

It said raising awareness was "vital".

'Save someone's life'

The 22-year-old lives in Weymouth and was told she needed a stem cell transplant after a cycle of chemotherapy did not cure her leukaemia.

Originally from Nigeria, Mrs Brown was told a matching donor had been found last December, but they had then "become unavailable".

She said: "I was devastated, I was shocked because it gave me hope and was snatched away from me."

Anthony Nolan head of register development Ann O'Leary, said: "Growing and diversifying the bone marrow register will mean that people like May can have a second chance at life."

Mrs Brown's plea comes a month after mixed-race blood cancer sufferer Lara Casalotti made a similar appeal for ethnic minority stem cell donors last month.

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Media captionLara Casalotti's plea for more mixed-race stem cell donors went global in January

Mrs Brown added: "I want to do whatever it takes to help raise awareness of the stem cell register.

"Please sign up as a donor and save someone's life."

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