Dagenham schoolboy Damary Dawkins, 13, dies from leukaemia
PUBLISHED: 15:12 20 March 2019 | UPDATED: 17:43 20 March 2019
A brave schoolboy battling leukaemia who underwent a blood stem cell transplant in the New Year has died.
Damary Dawkins, 13, from Dagenham, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), a type of blood cancer in 2014 and after undergoing chemotherapy treatment medics said he needed a transplant.
However none of his family were a match so campaign #match4damary was launched by charity African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust (ACLT) to find a stem cell donor.
Currently 69 per cent of patients can find a match from a stranger, but this drops to just 20pc for those from a black, Asian or ethnic minority background.
Sadly despite a match being found in the US and Damary undergoing the transplant he passed away on Sunday - six weeks after his 13th birthday.
The hunt to find a match for Damary hit the national headlines after Manchester City footballer Raheem Sterling tweeted about his plight and visited him in Great Ormond Street hospital.
The Sydney Russell School pupil also gained the support of premier league football club Crystal Palace, where he was a member of the elite development squad, which held a series of recruitment drives with blood cancer charity DKMS to try and find a potential donor.
Beverley De-Gale, co-founder at ACLT said: “All of us here at ACLT were devastated to hear the news of young Damary passing. Damary was a determined young boy; passionate about life.
“He enjoyed being active with swimming and martial arts, however football was his first love.
“Our thoughts are with his family, particularly his parents Nadine and Tony and sister Ptamone. The loss of a loved one is devastating, however the loss of a child is incomprehensible. This is why I can’t emphasise enough how important it is for us all, to take action and join the stem cell registers as it could lead to us all saving a life like Damary’s”.
A crowd fundraising page has been launched by a close friend of Damary’s parents Tony and Nadine to pay for his funeral as they had to take a considerable amout of time off work during their son’s illness.
To make a donation visit gofundme.com/damary-dawkins-campaign.