Daniel De-Gale Biography
Daniel David De-Gale, passed away on the 8th October 2008 aged 21 years.
Daniel had been diagnosed with leukaemia on the 7th April 1993 when he was 6 years of age.
Prior to being diagnosed Daniel had been a typical little boy, with the cheekiest little smile, the biggest eyes and a very inquisitive mind. He dearly loved his little sister, his mum and dad and his huge extended family. Everything was normal.
He seemed well until about 4 weeks before the diagnosis Daniel started developing cold and flu like symptoms, his GP said it was nothing to worry about and prescribed Calpol. However, these symptoms never went away and Daniel's parents worried there was an underlying problem and so they took him back to the GP on several occasions. By the 4th visit Daniel had started to experience pains in his legs and some unexplained bruising appeared on his body. The GP became concerned and immediately requested a blood test. That evening another GP visited the family home to give the terrible news that he had childhood leukaemia...
Daniel was immediately taken to the world renowned 'Great Ormond Street Hospital' and commenced chemotherapy treatments.
Daniel received 6 years of chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments whilst a National and International Media campaign took place in an attempt to find a life saving bone marrow donor. Following Daniel's 1st relapse of leukaemia, his parents Beverley De-Gale & Orin Lewis co-founded the ACLT charity in 1996 to raise awareness and recruit potential bone marrow donors and blood donors primarily from the black and mixed race community. They were told that his only hope of survival was to receive a life saving bone marrow transplant. Shocked to discover there was only a ONE in 250,000 chance of finding a compatible donor and that only 550 black people had ever joined the register. Due to the fact that bone marrow contains racially specific characteristics, the compatible donor for Daniel could only be found within the black or mixed race population.
Eventually a match was found and on the 16th June 1999 he received donated bone marrow cells from an unrelated donor. Daniel was then able to move on with his life and to do the things that other children take for granted. He continued to sporadically have underlying health issues which he never allowed to stop his enjoyment of life. He stayed focused and worked hard to gain 12 A* to C grade GCSE's , 3 A 'Levels and he then went on to gain a degree in Sports Therapy at the London Metropolitan University before he was taken from us. Daniel was a fighter and he fought his battle with illness to the very end, to the point that he made his parents promise the work would continue.
Daniel's plight inspired his parents to take action for him and to help others.
Every minute of every day someone somewhere needs blood for life saving treatment. Only 4% of UK population give blood. Shockingly, only 0.45% of these donors are black. Yet we rely on blood for many things, for example treatment of cancers, transfusions for Sickle Cell patients, transfusions after blood loss during child birth, major surgery and life threatening conditions.
Bone Marrow Donation
The ACLT charity is dedicated to promoting bone marrow donation in the black and mixed race communities, and has helped boost the number of bone marrow donors from 550 to over 36,000. Today, the chances of finding donors are still drastically low in the black and mixed race community - about ONE in 100,000! The wide genetic diversity of the black and mixed race community makes it much harder to find a match and still very few people from these backgrounds step forward as blood and bone marrow donors.
Every year, over 28,500 people in the UK are diagnosed with leukaemia or a blood related cancer. If chemotherapy or radiotherapy doesn't work, they need lifesaving bone marrow and blood donations. About 30 % of patients receive a transplant from a family member. The remaining 70% have a diminished chance of finding an unrelated donor from somewhere in the world. However, these odds are much worse if you're black.
Why? There's about a 1 in 100,000 chance of finding a life saving bone marrow donor
…or less for mixed race people.
Be a lifesaver
All we ask is for people to stop, listen and make informed choices. Many understand the need for more blood donors and racially matched bone marrow donors to enhance the success of transplantation when this is clearly explained.
If we all fail to respond to this challenge with positive and meaningful action right now, many more people will die unnecessarily.
The ACLT and the NHS Blood & Transplant (NHSBT) host the 4th 'Daniel De-Gale Blood Donation' week in October 2011.
The NHSBT and the ACLT have organised a very special week in Black History Month for members of the black and mixed race communities to sign up as new blood donors and to also register as potential bone marrow donors.
This very special week has taken place for the last 3 years at the beginning of October in the week of the anniversary of Daniel's passing on the 8th October. To commemorate Daniel's memory the ACLT & the NHSBT have organised a week long campaign to encourage the black and mixed race community to donate a unit (475 mls) of blood for transfusion purposes.
The success of these events has grown every year and has seen the largest numbers of black and mixed race people donating blood in one session.
During the last 3 to 4 years of Daniel's life, he had been diagnosed with Haemolytic Anaemia (abnormal breakdown of red blood cells) and had become reliant on receiving 3-5 units of life saving blood each week to sustain him. If it had not been for the generosity of the (primarily) white British community donating blood, Daniel's life would have been cut much earlier. Sadly, thousands of others are also in need of regular blood donations and we can all do our bit to help.
We would like you to work with us in celebrating all that he achieved in his life to encourage the community to help save lives by donating blood on a regular basis to help the thousands of people requiring frequent and sometimes life saving blood transfusions and at the same time to consider becoming potential bone marrow donors if they have not done so already.
We will register all 17 to 65 year olds willing to donate 1 unit of blood. We will also encourage anyone who has not previously registered as potential bone marrow donors to do so with the NHSBT/BBMR if they are aged 18 to 49 staying on the register until their 60th birthday if they remain in good health.
DATES: Monday 3rd October to Saturday 8th October 2011. Please call NHS Blood & Transplant on 0300 123 23 23 to book an appointment
Just 40 minutes of your time is all it takes to potentially save someone's life.
Please take note that all donors will be advised to have a light snack or meal and large glass of water or diluted juice prior to their donation.
Ideally, we would like to have masses of people donating blood up and down the country, to show that we are a strong community and we do care about saving lives. However, If you are unable to donate blood from Monday 3rd till Saturday 8th October, it is not a problem. Please call the NHSBT to book alternative date and time on 0300 123 23 23 (PLEASE STATE YOU ARE REGISTERING IN RESPONSE TO THE DANIEL DE-GALE BLOOD DONATION WEEK APPEAL) or to visit the NHSBT website www.blood.co.uk enter your home or work post code to see details of blood sessions closest to you.
For further info. on the ACLT Charity please visit our website www.aclt.org or call our office on tel no. 020 8240 4480.
Please tell family and friends about this appeal and maybe you will be able to persuade others to follow suit.
Co-Founders Beverley De-Gale OBE and Orin Lewis (Daniel's parents)
Beverley De-Gale OBE
Pride of Britain 2006 Special Award Winner
Member of Judging Panel for Pride of Britain 2007
URGENT APPEAL FOR LIFESAVERS TO SAVE
6 year old KEANO KLEIN and Grandmother DENISE GAYLE
Keano and Denise urgently need a Mixed race or Black bone marrow donor match to save their lives
Time is running out!! with the severe donor shortage his chances are below 1 in 100,000
Click here to read about Keano's and Denise's Appeals
MORE DONORS NEEDED URGENTLY - YOU COULD BE THE ONE
* HEROES WANTED*
Join us to GET THE FACTS + GET REGISTERED
Click here for details + other events and ways to GET REGISTERED
Can't make it? Call or email to book an appointment at the ACLT Office in Croydon
* 3 WAYS TO HELP *
* GET REGISTERED * TELL YOUR FAMILY & FRIENDS TO DO THE SAME
* SUPPORT APPEAL COSTS, Donate £3 - Text ACLT to 70300 click here for details + text charges