Anyone Can be a Hero
Kevin Kararwa Leukaemia Trust (KKLT) is a charity founded after the death of Kevin Kararwa. Kevin was a charismatic young man who died at the age of 24yrs,after failing to get a Stem Cell Donor. We fight Leukaemia and other blood cancers by creating awareness and educating BME Communities about Leukaemia, Stem Cell Donation and Stem Cell Transplant.
We do this by holding donor drives, attending public and other various community events including places of worship. We also use other platforms like social media to reach out to these communities. Our aim is to encourage and recruit people from these communities to register and become potential Stem Cell Donors. Our ultimate goal is to increase the numbers of BME on the Stem Cell Registries. This is because BME are under represented in the stem cell registries, in other words there are very few potential stem cell donors from the BME communities. Stem Cell Donation goes with ethnicity, meaning a Black can only match Black, Asian to Asian, Caucasian to Caucasian etc .Due to lack of BME donors, it translates that most BME people requiring stem cell transplant has a very slim chance of getting a donor, hence most of them dies from lack of donors.
We not only raise awareness but we also support patients and their families who are undergoing Leukaemia treatment and Stem Cell Transplant. We offer both psychological and physical support. We also hold donor drives and appeals in aid of patients requiring a donor. (see appeals page)
Our MOTTO is “ANYONE CAN BE A HERO” Yes, you and anyone reading this can be a hero by registering and becoming a Potential Stem Cell Donor. It is simple and very easy to register. If you are aged between 17 to 55yrs and in good health you are eligible to become a potential Stem Cell Donor. You only need to fill a short form and take a saliva swab. It is that simple! After registering, you will receive a card from the registry to inform you that you are now registered as a potential stem cell donor. What that means is, you can be called to donate and save a life if you match someone. Please note, you might never be called, you will only be called and asked to donate if you match someone. If you match someone, you can only donate with your consent. If you consent to donate, the process is simple and easy, it is similar to donating blood. Please see STEM CELL DONATION page.
Here at KKLT we believe there is a no greater and noble act than that of saving a life.
“BECOME SOMEONE’S HERO, REGISTER AND SAVE A LIVE”
Kevin Kararwa Leukaemia Trust is a UK registered charity, established to address the difficulties faced by members of Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities in the UK and rest of the world in need of stem cell/bone marrow transplant, by increasing awareness and encouraging them to sign -up and join Bone Marrow Registry, now known as Stem Cell Registries as they are under-represented.
We educate and raise awareness about leukaemia, stem cell/bone marrow donation and transplant, particularly to members of BAME in UK and East Africa.
We encourage members of BAME communities to register on the Stem Cell Register and become potential Stem Cell Donors
We provide support, information, advice and signpost patients and their families to the appropriate services.
We Represent, advocate and campaign on behalf of members of BAME communities to bring forward on the national agenda, the difficulties faced by these communities when they suffer from Leukaemia.
We undertake these activities through seminars, workshops, conferences, outreach, representations, influencing and campaigning through the social media, using well trained volunteers.
Kevin Kararwa Leukaemia Trust (KKLT) was founded in 2015, after the tragic death of Kevin Kararwa who passed away from leukaemia, in 2014; after he failed to find a stem cell donor. His mother, Veronica Kararwa founded the organisation with hope that one day what happened to Kevin will not happen to anyone else.
STEM CELL DONOR REGISTRIES IN UK, CARIBBEAN AND AFRICA LAUNCH JOINT INITIATIVE TO RECRUIT 100,000 DONORS OF AFRICAN ANCESTRY BY 2030
Hundreds of thousands of individuals worldwide live with blood cancers, like leukemia, myeloma, Hodgkin Lymphoma, and non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. Every 20 minutes someone in the UK finds out they have a blood cancer. Around 2,000 people in the UK need a bone marrow (stem cell) transplant every year. This is usually their last chance of survival. In the UK, 80% of African/Caribbean individuals battling leukemia will not find a matched donor to save their life. Whereas the rate soars to nearly 90% for Caucasian patients.
Why such a large disparity?
Access. One of the major impediments to matching patients of African ancestry with compatible donors is the scarcity of black donors who are registered with stem cell donor registries around the world. This gap, in turn, is driven by the steep logistical and financial hurdles involved in creating a registry, which is often enough to prevent resource-constrained countries in Africa and the Caribbean from launching their own registries.
The Stem Cell Registry Alliance (SCRA) was created to reduce the start-up costs for registries in these countries. By pooling resources amongst themselves, member registries will be able to start recruiting donors immediately, without the costs of setting up a stand-alone operation.
Veronica Kararwa, founder of KKLT said:
“We are writing a new part of our story, something so new, and untouched by all the chapters before. We deserve new. We deserve to come together in this beginning, stick together in the progress while working together to succeed. By working with others, this will be a mile stone by KKLT in attaining its main objectives of creating awareness, educating and saving lives by encouraging our people to register on the bone marrow register while supporting people affected with leukaemia. KKLT are honoured and delighted to be a founding member of the Stem Cell Registry Alliance (SCRA)”.
The SCRA will allow member registries to recruit and genetically type donors in their respective countries, then store the data securely on a centralized database, giving patients around the world a better chance of finding a match.
Individuals living in the UK who wish to join the stem cell register can click here.
Dr Anne Mwirigi (trustee) | Phone: +254 798 129 947 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To raise awareness about leukaemia, other blood cancers, stem cell donations
and encourage people of African origin to be on the registry.
As part of our awareness campaign, we address the stereotype,
myth and negative rhetoric relating to bone marrow donation.
To Save Lives of Those in Need of Bone Marrow Transplant.
Dedication to others, commitment and integrity.