The Pinner, Stanmore and Northwood & Ruislip communities are being urged to back a campaign to help a local boy with a rare genetic disorder.
Three-year-old Veer suffers from Fanconi Anaemia, a rare genetic disorder that results in decreased production of all types of blood cells.
This means that he’ll soon need a stem cell transplant if he is to survive.
Veer’s family are appealing for people, particularly of Asian descent, to sign up as stem cell donors.
Working with blood cancer charities Anthony Nolan and DKMS, the family wants to diversify the stem cell register and give Veer and others like him a fighting chance of finding a matching donor.
Nirav, Veer’s father, said: “Veer is a cheeky, adventurous and energetic three-year-old. He has been a real soldier through his numerous blood tests. He definitely lives up to the meaning of his name (Veer means brave).”
Currently, only 69 per cent of patients can find their best match from a stranger, dropping to 20 per cent for BAME patients. Veer’s Asian heritage means it’s harder for him to find a match.
The #HelpVeerNow campaign is working with different communities to organise swab drives across the country and encouraging people to join the donor register.
Nirav added: “We are trying our best to increase awareness, to help not only Veer, but countless other people from all backgrounds. That’s why we’re sharing our story – it’s not just for Veer.”
Despite it being simple to join (request a kit, swab your cheek, and post it), only two per cent of the UK population is currently on the stem cell register. Veer’s chances improve every time someone joins the donor register, especially if they are of Asian origin.
To read more about Veer or to register as a donor, go to HelpVeerNow.org or search the campaign on social media @HelpVeerNow or #HelpVeerNow
You can also find your nearest swab drive on the campaign’s website and Facebook page.