November 8, 2014 | By Julia Roberts
Gravesend: The Gurdwara in Gravesend is to host what it hopes will be the country’s biggest push for bone marrow donor registrations.
The Sikh Gurdwara Sahib in Saddington Street has invited charitable organisation the Jaskomal Foundation on a day when about 3,000 people are already expected to attend as part of Parkash Gurpurb celebrations of the first Guru, Guru Nanak Ji.
Those who visit the temple on Sunday (November 09) will be able to find out more about donating bone marrow and sign up to the donor register – a simple process which involves a swab test and takes only 10 minutes. Anyone aged between 17 and 55 can sign up.
Bone marrow, like blood, has to be precisely matched, but only 25% of patients find a match within their own family so widening the pool of donors is vital.
But only 6% of donors on the country’s register are of ethnic minority origin, 4% of which are Asian.
The Jaskomal Foundation was set up last year in memory of Jaskomal Sher-gill, from Bedfordshire, who was diagnosed with blood cancer when she was 22. Her brother was a match for her but sadly his donation came too late and she died. Since then, her family and friends have campaigned to raise awareness of the need for donors within the Asian community and to attribute as many as possible to the country’s register.
“We are proud to welcome the Jaskomal Foundation to our gurdwara,” said president Davinder Singh Bains.
“Their work is vital to helping Sikh and other ethnicities who face a blood cancer diagnosis find support and save lives.
“We would like to invite anyone who is interested in finding out more, and hopefully donating, to come along. Every donor registered can save a life.
“Our gurdwara is open to all, not just to our Sikh community who attend as part of their daily lives.”
Jaskomal Foundation volunteers, including Jaskomal’s parents, brother, aunt and friends, will be in the Sahibzada Zoravar Singh Hall from 9am to 3pm.
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