Crystal Palace FC and Palace for Life Foundation have teamed up with blood cancer charity DKMS to urge fans to register as potential lifesavers in support of football fanatic Damary Dawkins.
The 12-year-old who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in 2015 and urgently needs a blood stem cell transplant is now relying on a complete stranger to become his potential lifesaver.
However, Damary’s African-Caribbean heritage means the search is even harder because of the lack of black, Asian and minority ethnic people on the register.
Damary and other patients with a minority ethnic background have just a 20 per cent chance of finding the best possible stem cell donor match, compared to 69 per cent for people with northern European backgrounds.
Damary enjoys playing football and is currently a member of the Foundation’s Elite Player Development Centre.
He recently had the opportunity to visit CPFC’s Training Ground where he received the support of players and manager Roy Hodgson, who said: “Damary is a big football fan and a promising young player and we were all impressed by his bravery and composure at what must be a very difficult time.
“ It would be fantastic if we could help to find a match for Damary that could save his life and I would urge Palace fans to register with DKMS.”
Porsha Nunes-Brown, Donor Recruitment Manager at DKMS UK said: “Damary is often in and out of the hospital and desperately needs a blood stem cell transplant.”
Anyone in the UK aged between 17 and 55 and in good general health can register with DKMS.
The charity asks potential blood stem cell donors to give consent and a three-minute swab sample from the inside of their cheek.
This is done at one of their donor recruitment events or via requesting a kit from www.dkms.org.uk/Damary.