Crystal Palace FC to host donor drive in support of Dagenham schoolboy battling leukaemia

PUBLISHED: 16:26 26 September 2018 | UPDATED: 10:58 27 September 2018

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

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


A premier league football club is holding a recruitment drive as part of a campaign to find a blood stem match for a schoolboy from Dagenham with cancer.

Crystal Palace are showing their support for Damary Dawkins, 12, who is battling acute lympoblastic leukaemia (ALL), with the special event.

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

Crystal Palace has teamed up with blood cancer charity DKMS to hold the drive on October 2.

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 and I would urge Palace fans to register with DKMS.”

Portia Nunes-Brown, donor recruitment manager at DKMS UK added: “Please attend our registration event for Damary and help us find a matching donor for Damary or someone else in need of a blood stem cell transplant.

“Registering as a potential blood stem cell donor is so easy to do, but I can’t emphasise enough how important it is. It could lead to you saving a life.”

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.”

The drive will take place at Whitgift Shopping Centre in Croydon, on October 2 from 9am to 5pm.

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