Mum of two, Meena Kumari-Sharma is appealing for people to register as a potential blood stem cell donor with DKMS, a blood cancer charity.

Meena originally from Leicester was diagnosed with two forms of leukaemia last March. 

Months before being diagnosed Meena had started to feel dizzy and was originally diagnosed with mild sickness. 

Following a car accident Meena’s health started to deteriorate with consistent back pains and headaches but she put this down to whiplash. It become so bad that she eventually visited A&E where additional testing took place.

It was revealed that Meena had leukaemia and she had to start treatment including blood transfusions and several rounds of chemotherapy. 

Now Meena has been told that she urgently needs a blood stem cell donation from someone with a matching tissue-type for her best chance of survival.

Due to her British-Indian (Punjabi) background it makes the search to find a matching donor even harder. Patients from black, Asian or other minority backgrounds only have a 20% chance of finding the best possible stem cell donor match, compared to 69% for northern European backgrounds.

There is a lack of black, Asian and mixed race donors on the registry with only 13.1% currently registered as a blood stem cell donor. Despite a global search, sadly a matching donor has not yet been found. The blood cancer charity DKMS is supporting Meena  to help find a donor for her and others seeking matching donors.

Meena said: “My world was turned upside down when I was diagnosed with leukaemia. I just kept thinking that they had made a huge mistake. 

“After the initial diagnosis I faced the agonising decision of where to receive my treatment. I’m originally from Leicester but had roots in St Albans. 

"After realising I would soon be spending the best part of a year in hospital and realistically I wouldn’t be able to look after my children. I made the heartbreaking decision to move back to Leicester, so I could be surrounded by family, focus fully on getting better and being part of my children’s lives again.

“We’ve been working tirelessly to encourage more people to register as blood stem cell donors and we’re grateful that we’re able to spread the important message through the drive at the hospital. 

"This is the hospital were I was born and now I’m currently receiving my treatment – so it means a lot. I would urge to people to take that first step in becoming a potential lifesaver.”

It takes minutes to register - those attending the event will be asked to fill in a form and provide a few cheeks swabs and then they will go on standby to give someone a second chance at life. If you’re identified as a match for someone there are two ways to donate - 90% of blood stem cell donations in the UK are made via a peripheral blood stem cell collection, a method similar to giving blood. 

The remaining 10% donate through a bone marrow collection (collected from the back of the pelvic bone under general anaesthetic).

Lisa Nugent, Head of Donor Recruitment at DKMS UK said: “Please spare the time to attend the event and help find a matching donor for Meena or someone else in need of a blood stem cell transplant. By doing this selfless act and registering as a potential lifesaver you’ll go on standby to save the life of someone just like you. 

"If you can’t make the donor drive and aged between 17-55 you can register online for a home swab kit at” 

Find out more here