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We won't forget Daniel De-Gale's incredible legacy

PICTURED: Daniel De-Gale with mum and ACLT co-founder Beverley De-Gale

OCTOBER 8 will mark 10 years since the passing of 21-year-old Daniel De-Gale, the young man who spearheaded a bone marrow donor drive.

His efforts were to launch the African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust (ACLT), a charity that then gave hope to so many people within the black community who once thought their life had ended when they were diagnosed with the blood disease.

Daniel’s story was to captivate us all when he was diagnosed with the blood disorder from a very young age and his parents, Beverley De-Gale and Orin Lewis, launched a public campaign to find a bone marrow donor from within the black community – as it was likely someone from the same ethnicity would be a possible match.

At age 12, a donor with the same stem cell type to match Daniel was found, not from these shores, but from Detriot in the US, where Doreene Carney hailed.

Her donation of bone marrow was to make Daniel the rst black person in the UK to receive the life-saving transplant from an unrelated donor.

The news brought national recognition for the charity and the drive to get more people on the bone marrow register.

Now, hundreds of thousands are signed up as potential donors on the stem cell register. Although Daniel passed away age 21, nine years after his transplant, it meant that his family had a longer time to share with him which they otherwise would not have had.

It is his legacy which his parents are now marking on this 10th anniversary. It is a positive legacy and as his mother Beverley quite rightly says, what ACLT has achieved since it was established more than two decades ago has been a tting way to remember Daniel.

Despite his death, Daniel is remembered as a ghter on a mission to save lives. His journey created a movement and changed attitudes about blood and organ donation within our community and for this we are forever grateful to Daniel De-Gale.

It is a movement that we must continue to support and be part of.

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