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Good turnout at donor recruitment drive to help Dagenham schoolboy with leukaemia

PUBLISHED: 17:25 03 October 2018 | UPDATED: 12:19 04 October 2018

Damary Dawkins with his parents Tony and Nadine. Picture: ACLT

Damary Dawkins with his parents Tony and Nadine. Picture: ACLT

ACLT

Around 100 people came forward to help a schoolboy from Dagenham who is battling cancer and needs a vital blood stem match.

Damary with Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson. Pic:Dan Weir/PPAUK.Damary with Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson. Pic:Dan Weir/PPAUK.

Yesterday a donor recruitment drive was held in a race to find a match for 12-year-old Damary Dawkins, 12, who is fighting acute lympoblastic leukaemia.

The event took place at Whitgift Shopping Centre in Croydon, and was organised by Crystal Palace FC and blood cancer charity DKMS.

Damary, a member of the Crystal Palace’s elite player development centre, was diagnosed three years ago and received treatment which was supposed to end in July but instead of receiving good news, the family were told he has suffered a relapse and that the cancer is more aggressive than before.

The best chance of survival is a blood stem cell transplant, but unfortunately none of his family are a match so they are relying on a stranger.

Damary Dawkins with his parents Tony and Nadine. Picture: ACLTDamary Dawkins with his parents Tony and Nadine. Picture: ACLT

Portia Nunes-Brown, donor recruitment manager at DKMS UK, said: “A big thank you to those that registered and donated funds on the day.

“It was great to see so many people from the local community supporting Damary’s appeal for a matching blood stem cell donor.

“If you weren’t able to attend the event, please register at www.dkms.org.uk/Damary to give Damary or someone else in a similar position a second chance at life.”

Damary’s African Caribbean heritage means that he has a 20 per cent of finding a match compared to 69pc if he was white.

Damary with Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson. Pic:Dan Weir/PPAUK.Damary with Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson. Pic:Dan Weir/PPAUK.

Last month Damary’s parents Tony and Nadine made an appeal for potential donor.

Nadine told the Post: “Damary needs a transplant.

“He won’t have long to go without one. It could save his life.”

Roy Hodgson, Crystal Palace manager, 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.”

Everyone who attended the recruitment drive will be added to the donor register and even if they aren’t a match for Damary they could be one for someone else.

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