A dying leukaemia sufferer’s final hope rests with finding a suitable bone marrow before Christmas.
Kevin Kararwa, only 24, of Canterbury Road, Morden, is currently in hospital after a relapse of his acute myeloid leukaemia diagnosed in April last year.
After an intensive course of chemotherapy and a cord blood transplant during which he nearly died, the University of Portsmouth graduate suffered the relapse last month.
Since then, consultants at Kings College London where he is staying, say his last hope is if bone marrow cells from a un-related donor can be found.
Mr Kararwa’s mother Veronica, said he desperately needs help.
She said: “I can’t explain what it is like to see your own son suffering like he is. The pain is too much, I just want to see my son as he was and sometimes I just want to fly away. After the last operation we didn’t think it would ever come back, we thought he was safe.”
The psychiatric nurse has called on people from east Africa and places such as Mr Kararwa’s native Kenya to help.
She said: “We need people from the east Africa to come forwards and be donors. People seem to think they need to go through surgery to be a bone marrow donor but you don’t, its a simple series of injections. There is a lack of awareness among the community. I’m praying Kevin will get the donor he needs, but if he doesn’t I hope by encouraging people to come forwards, others can be saved.”
The world register of 22 million potential donors has been checked but a suitable match has not been found for Mr Kararwa.
Bone marrow consultants are considering his brother who is a half match but it is a procedure that comes with high risks, and being only a half match means that there is just a ten per cent chance of success.
Beverley De-Gale, co-founder of the African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust, (ACLT) fears Mr Kararwa will not come out of hospital alive unless a donor is found as soon.
She said: “Kevin is in a bad way. He needs a donor now or I’m not sure he will ever leave the hospital. Only a very small percentage of donors are not white, and in order to be a bone marrow donor for him you have to be from a similar ethnic background. There is a lack of awareness among the ethnic groups we need most as donors. There is also an element of apathy.”
The family are members of the Presbyterian Church of East Africa, which has Sunday services at St Matthews Church, Dyson Road, London E14 4JX.
On Sunday 24 November at 2pm the ACLT Address the congregation about leukaemia, Kevin’s diagnosis and subsequent treatments and the severe lack of potential donors from within the East African Communities.
If you want to help or find out more call 02082404480 or visit www.aclt.org
A ONE AND ONLY MATCH4KEVIN DONOR DRIVE WILL TAKE PLACE: Sunday 24th November. Time: 4pm till 6.30pm. Venue: Presbyterian Church of East Africa, St Matthews Church, Dyson Road, London E15 4JX
ALTERNATIVELY, IF YOU WISH TO REGISTER AS A POTENTIAL BONE MARROW BUT CAN’T ATTEND THE ABOVE DONOR DRIVE PLEASE VISIT OUR OFFICE IN CENTRAL CROYDON
Time: 10.30am till 4.30pm
7A Rathbone Square
Please call ACLT office to book a 30 minute appointment. Tel no. 020 8240 4480
CLICK HERE to see how you can register and be a potential bone marrow donor. Thank You
CLICK HERE to make a financial donation to Team Kevin Fundraising
TEXT DONATION: Text ‘Kevk89 3’ (to give £3), ‘Kevk89 5’ (to give £5) or ‘Kevk89 10’ (to give £10) to the number 70070