Could you save Raj Bhuller’s life? – #SwabForRaj


Raj is my younger brother. He is 51 years old. He is married. He has two children. He is a lovely guy. He really is. I have known Raj for 20 plus years,
first as colleagues and over the years
we have become close friends. As a colleague he is very approachable,
easy to talk to. Everybody loves him. It was on Christmas Eve. Raj was coming around with his family. My sister-in-law, Rani, said,
“Raj has a lot of white blood cells.” I didn’t know what that meant. My first question was, “I don’t know
what you mean. What does that mean?” And she said, “He’s in hospital… “…and he has leukaemia.” Even then I don’t think
I understood what it was. I texted my sister-in-law and said, “We are going to the hospital
to go and see Raj” and she texted back and said, “You can’t do that.
Raj is having his chemo.” And I think that was the time
I realised what it was. That he had blood cancer. I got a phone call two days
before New Year’s Day. He bravely told me
that he was not coming back to work. I was numbed. Stunned. Leukaemia is one of those things that… without help from others
is terminal. The illness Raj has
is acute myeloid leukaemia. It is curable, but the only cure
is a stem cell transplant. Currently there is no one
on the register who is a match for Raj. I was tested, my sister was tested and we found out
we were not a match for my brother. That was pretty devastating because
my hopes were that I was the match. It would be easy then. But then we found out that the number of
Asians who are registered is very few. So for an Asian to find a match
there is only a 40% chance. We realised we had to raise awareness
within our own community. Hi. Excuse me. We are working to register people
onto the Stem Cell Registry. We are trying to get people onto the
register to improve chances of survival, not just for Raj, but for other people
in the same position. This isn’t modern medicine
not working. This is simply that we haven’t got
enough people on that list to help save them. Once on the register,
if you are ever called to be a donor, in over 90% of cases they are going
to take the blood from one arm, filter the stem cells and return your
blood to you without the stem cells. It is straightforward.
Between three and five hours. The actual process is a quick swab
that you take today. This is to get you on the register. Brush it up and down on the inside
of the cheek for about a minute. You can also do it online.
It is very simple to do that. – Thank you for signing up today.
– Thanks a lot. Any son looks at their father
like some kind of Superman. I just came from the hospital
and I saw him and he just looks like a shell of a human being, I guess. It is quite overwhelming. You then realise how amazing my dad is. Like, it is just… Yes… I don’t know… I’m going to cry. From the middle of January to now we have managed to get 2,000 people on the Delete Blood Cancer database, and even found a match for somebody, so you know it can happen. There is no way of saying
who will be a match and that is the reason why,
you know what, everyone should do it. But we do have a deadline, which is middle of April, end of May, whereby after his next session
of chemotherapy, he will be looking
into the national register to see if there is a suitable match. For someone to become a match,
you dream of it all the time. I’d be happy. Very, very happy. More for my parents because
I know how much it would mean to them. Because no parent wants to lose a child.