Rik Basra is a family man from Leicester who contracted acute myeloid Leukaemia (AML), a form of blood cancer. Riks only hope of survival was a stem cell transplant, Rik’s lineage determined that the best chance of finding a matching donor would be from someone of Indian heritage; in addition the nature of such transplants requires a close donor/recipient match to achieve success.
An initial search of the UK database proved fruitless and it became clear that there was a dire shortage of “Asian” donors in fact there was a shortage for all minorities. An international search was launched and eventually a matching donor was found in Germany. Rik at least had a fighting chance of life…
Sadly there are many blood cancer patients in need of a stem cell transplant that never find a matching donor… they and their loved ones have no option but to watch helplessly as the disease take its course.
The tragedy is that a life saving match could be walking about within their own communities… not only this but medical advances now make both the registration and donation process extremely simple and straightforward.
The Rik Basra Leukaemia Campaign was set up in October 2011 by Rik and his wife Kas who having faced the anguish of a frantic search for a donor against the clock want to do what they can to save others the same torment. The campaign has a key aspiration to do what it can to address the overall shortfall in donors but with a particular focus on the under-represented “South Asian” community.