The ACLT is an independent charity that formed in 1996 with the main aim to increase the number of ethnic minorities on the UK stem cell and blood donation registers after co-founders Beverley De-Gale and Orin Lewis received the devastating news that their son, Daniel De-Gale, was diagnosed with leukaemia in 1993 – he was just 6 years old. He touched the hearts of a nation as he overcame incredible odds of 1 in 250,000 to become the first black individual in the UK to receive a life saving bone marrow transplant from an unrelated donor in 1999. Daniel beat his fight against leukaemia and lived a happy life alongside his family and friends for several years, however on 8th October 2008, Daniel sadly passed away due to an unrelated health illness.
The ACLT’s hard work to uphold Daniel’s legacy over the last 19 years, has resulted in the charity saving over 60 lives through recruiting thousands of blood donors, over 60,000 people of all ethnicities have joined the UK bone marrow registers (Anthony Nolan Register and British Bone Marrow Registry) due to the work of ACLT. Today, the statistics are still devastatingly low – a Black person in need of a stem cell transplant has a les than 20% chance of finding a perfect match, which is disproportionately high when compared to odds of over 60% if you are white British. In 2010, the ACLT included increasing the number of ethnic minorities on the NHSBT (National Health Service Blood & Transplant) organ donor registers to their charity aims.