WHO WE ARE
we create awareness, educate, engage and offer support
Our Motto “Anyone can be a hero”
Since being established in 2015, KKLT has sought to engage with BME (black & minority ethnic communities ) to raise awareness of those suffering from Leukaemia, educate community about bone marrow/stem cell and encourage individuals to join the stem cell registry, with the hope of increasing BME community’s survival rates.
We have done this through delivering presentations, distributing information leaflets, use of social media, speaking to individuals at several community gatherings and partner with places of worship to hold bone marrow registration drives.
More recently we have started to expand our services to include distribution of food parcels and also provide emotional and moral support for the suffers and their families, thus reducing their isolation and increase their mental wellbeing.
When Kevin Kararwa, was diagnosed with Leukaemia in 2013, he had a lower chance of survival than most purely because of his ethnic background. He needed a bone marrow donor, but the chances of finding a match were about one in 100 thousand. A 50 per cent matched donation from his brother failed, sadly he lost the battle in 2014 before he could find a suitable donor.
His dying wish was to register over 2,400 new volunteer donors onto the UK bone marrow registry (100 for each year of his life)
Why our work is needed
The statistics show that leukaemia is more commonly diagnosed in white and black males than in Asian males. Although leukaemia only accounts for 3% of all cancer related deaths, there are still around 4,700 leukaemia deaths in the UK every year, which is 13 deaths a day. However, the survival rate for individuals diagnosed with leukaemia is improving with 1-2 surviving five years or more and 4 in 10 for ten years or more. In fact, the survival rate has more than quadrupled in the last 40 years in the UK.
Only 61% of BME patients in need of a stem cell transplant find a suitably matched donor, compared to 96% of White Northern European patients. BME donors make up 15% of the stem cell register while black donors make up 2% of potential donors on the British Bone Marrow Registry.
Through our own research, we have found the most common issue is a lack of knowledge about the leukaemia and stem donation/bone marrow donations, particularly within the African communities in United Kingdom. We also recognise that other barriers have a significant role to play in this lack of knowledge and awareness. The key barriers that we have found are the issues around religious beliefs, cultural and traditional stances.
We have also identified a disparity in the survival rates between Caucasian and groups from other ethnic backgrounds. The figures show that white individuals have a 70% chance of survival compared to only 20% chance for BME backgrounds.