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Cancer patient fights to stay alive

HOLDING ON FOR A HERO: Roger Moore urgently needs a bone marrow donor

A MAN who signed up to the blood and bone marrow registers ten years ago is now himself in desperate need of a transplant.

Roger Moore, 36, from north London was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia, an aggressive life-threatening blood cancer on July 3.

He said: “In June, I was taking quite a lot of cold and flu remedies on a daily basis. I started having inflammation on my gums and went to the dentist and was told it was probably because of plaque build up, so they booked me in for a clean, but by time I came back it got even worse.”

After a CT scan ruled out plaque build up, Moore went to Newham Hospital A&E where a series of blood tests were carried out.

“They had to check the machines four times thinking they were broken because my white blood cells count were so high.”
His only hope for survival is finding a suitable donor.

His parents and sister have already been ruled out as matches, so Moore’s next hope is to find a bone marrow match from someone of a similar ethnicity to give him the best chance of survival.

Currently undergoing his third course of chemotherapy, Moore is aware of the uphill struggle he is facing.

Statistics show that less than one per cent of the 800,000 donors on the UK registry are black or mixed race.

He said: “My leukaemia diagnosis had an irony as doctors told me that they had found a match – only to realise it was me.”

The management consul-tant has now started the BeTheHero campaign with the help of the African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust (ACLT), and is currently building a website.

WAITING

So far the Facebook page has had a good response with people agreeing to be swabbed and signing up to the donor register.

Beverly De-Gale, ACLT co-founder, said: “Thousands of people die waiting for a matching bone marrow donor every year, largely due to the lack of volunteer donors. The tragic loss of life and talent is preventable if more people took the time to donate and help others.”

DETERMINED

Despite being on the other side of the coin, Moore, of Barbadian heritage, said he was determined to do
as much he can to help himself.

He said: “It’s much harder on my parents than anyone else because they are facing the prospect of their son dying before them, which is something they would have never contemplated before. So they kind of feel powerless to do anything about it, where for me I am a very pragmatic person…I am able to focus on doing things to try and aid my situation.”

To see if you can BeTheHero, the following donor registration events are taking place.
*Thursday, October 17, 10 a.m-8 p.m., Westfield Stratford Shopping Centre, Lomdon E20 1EJ; Lower Ground Floor near Unit 14 Foyles Bookstore and Waitrose.
*Saturday, October 26, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., Global Radio, Choice FM, 30 Leicester Square, London, WC2H 7LA.

For general queries and donor registration information contact the ACLT team on 0208 240 4480 www.aclt.org | info@aclt.org | Follow on FB The-ACLT-African-Caribbean-Leukaemia-Trust | Twitter @ACLTCharity

BeTheHero Campaign: www.bethehero.org.uk | Follow on FB Be.The.Hero | Twitter @BeTheHeroUK #BeTheHero

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