An inspirational young charity worker from South London is making an urgent appeal for a Cypriot bone marrow donor to save her life. Bengu Shail, aged 34, was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia in September 2009. After two years of intensive treatment, she went into remission and has since rebuilt her life by helping other cancer patients at Macmillan Cancer Support. Last month, Bengu, who was born in North Cyprus, received the devastating news that her leukaemia has returned and has now spread all over her body. Her only hope for survival is a bone marrow/stem cell transplant. But with 15 million people on worldwide register and a significant shortage of Cypriot donors, Bengu’s chances of finding a donor with a similar genetic background are very small. Bengu, who is currently being treated in hospital, said ‘all of us want a cure for cancer. In my case, the cure is not in the hands of scientists, it’s in the hands of my community – selfless people who are willing to spare a few hours of their time to give someone like me a chance to live.’ Androulla Stylianou from the Leukaemia Cancer Society, who specialises in recruiting donors from the Greek, Turkish and Cypriot community, said ‘thousands of people die waiting for a matching donor every day. This is simply because they are the wrong ethnicity. Cypriot people are hugely under-represented on the register, and we need to urgently address this issue. Leukaemia can affect any one of us at any time of life so the more potential donors we have on the register, the better chance of finding a match for someone who desperately needs a transplant. She added: We are all members of small and exclusive clubs, and when one of our fellow members needs help, only we can provide it.’ No family should ever have to go through the heartbreak Bengu's mum is experiencing. I really hope we can all rally together to help Bengu and other families in the same situation.’ The Leukaemia Cancer Society is currently working alongside the ACLT and the Anthony Nolan Trust to host three bone marrow recruitment drives in order to find Bengu a bone marrow / stem cell donor. Individuals aged 16 - 49 who are in good health and reside in the UK should attend Registration drives will take place on the following dates and locations: Saturday 8th December - OPEN TO THE PUBLIC Time: 11am till 5pm DR FASIL KUCUK TURKISH SCHOOL Conisborough College Bellingham Road Catford SE6 2PS -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sunday 9th December - OPEN TO THE PUBLIC Time: 2pm till 6pm Cypriot Community Centre Earlham Grove Wood Green London N22 5HJ -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sunday 16th December - OPEN TO THE PUBLIC Time: 2pm till 6pm Community House 311 Fore Street Edmonton London N9 0PZ