Aswad concert in Northampton will see appeal for life-saving donor for four-year-old Tommy

A concert at Roadmender in Northampton will see a blood cancer charity appeal for potential blood donors.

Friday, 17th June 2016, 6:00 am

The concert by eighties and nineties British reggae band Aswad - on Saturday June 25 - will see an appeal by the #Match4Tommy campaign.

Blood cancer charity African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust will be registering people to try to find a matched stem cell donor for 4-year-old Tommy Simpson, who has Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML).

Orin Lewis OBE, ACLT co-founder, said: “We’re grateful to Roadmender for allowing ACLT to have a presence at forthcoming Aswad

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

concert, encouraging Aswad fans to do something amazing, to join the donor registers to help save the life of someone who is in desperate need.

“We are thrilled to be able to raise awareness in Northampton in this way. We’re appealing to all attendees on the day, to visit our stand to sign up and join the donor registers.”

Tommy was diagnosed after being admitted to hospital a few days before Christmas.

He remained at Great Ormond Street hospital up until a few weeks ago when he was discharged to return home after completing his fourth round of chemotherapy.

Within weeks of its launch, the #Match4Tommy campaign secured over 4,500 people to join the UK Stem Cell Register in the hope of saving Tommy’s life.

While the treatment appears to be working, Tommy parents - London firefighter Nigel Simpson and Maxine Francis - need to find Tommy a potentially lifesaving stem cell donor in the event he relapses.

Mrs Francis, said: “Tommy doesn’t have any siblings, so the 1 in 4 chance of a sibling being a match doesn’t exist for Tommy.

“It is at best a 50 per cent chance for parents to be a match for their children; this is normally a route a doctor will go down when they can’t find anything better. We know the window of opportunity for an unrelated match to be found is going fast with each day passing.

“That’s why we are appealing for members of the public to join the stem cell register now.

“Particularly if you are White Northern European, Black African or Caribbean and mixed race (white/black), you may potentially be able to save the life of our funny and beautiful little boy”.

African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust was formed 20 years ago with to raise awareness of the lack of donors on the UK Stem (Bone Marrow) Register, with a particular focus on black and mixed race people.

Its founders, Beverley De-Gale OBE and Orin Lewis OBE, started the charity after their son Daniel De-Gale was diagnosed with leukaemia aged six.

Although his appeal made national news, he later died from organ failure.

Anyone wishing to support the #Match4Tommy campaign by joining stem cell donor register at the Aswad concert on Saturday June 25 - should visit the ACLT stand on the day. ACLT will be registering anyone in good health aged 16-55. Registrants will be asked to complete a short application form and provide a cheek swab.