Kevin was 22 years old when he was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML). He underwent intensive chemotherapy treatments; which unfortunately proved to be unsuccessful. At the time, doctors advised that the only chance of survival for Kevin was through a bone marrow transplant.
Following a world-wide search of volunteer bone marrow registries and relentless donor appeals through the local and national media, a match was not found. This was devastating news for Kevin, his family and his friends. Doctors decided that the only other option for Kevin was to have a 50% match transplant donation from his younger brother; but again sadly this did not work. During this difficult time, Kevin, his family and friends learned that there is a dire shortage of bone marrow donors from the ethnic minority and indeed from the black community. It was even more devastating to learn that, Africa as a whole and indeed East African Region is not represented in the world donor registries.
Bone marrow match is specific to one’s ethnicity and region of origin; which meant that Kevin’s chance of getting a match would have been from the East African Region population. During Kevin’s donor appeals, we received numerous calls from Kenya with people wanting to help and asking how they could get involved in the process. Regrettably; there was nowhere to direct them to. Kevin’s death wish was that no one, young or old, should go through a similar ordeal, and so as family and friends, we decided to honour and push his legacy, by forming the Kevin Kararwa Leukaemia Trust.