Evening of glitz and entertainment in Bedford to boost stem cell donor fund

Bhangra Ball
Bhangra Ball

A night of glitz, food and entertainment is promised at a Bhangra Ball being organised to raise vital funds to get more donors registered to help blood cancer patients.

Charity DKMS Beds Hub is organising the event at the Empire Nightclub in Bedford on Friday, March 1, from 6.30pm to raise money to help pay for potential life-saving stem cell donors to become registered.

The ball includes a three-course dinner and will be hosted by television personality Harjap Bhangal and Rosie Garcha, with live performances from PBN, Shin from DCS and Saloni, with music from Kudos music. Mohammad Yasin MP and Monty Panesar, an ambassador for organ donation, will be attending.

All proceeds will go towards supporting the work of DKMS Beds. The group was set up and led by Bedford resident Poonam Chand and other members of the Bandhan group in May 2018 in response to an appeal to find a life-saving donor for five-year-old blood cancer patient Kaiya Patel from Northwood, who devastatingly passed away on January 13.

So far it has helped to get 600 potential stem cell donors added to the register.

Money raised at March’s ball will help DKMS to continue its work in registering more donors. While it works to get as many people signed as possible on the register, there is a particular need for more people from black, Asian or other ethnic minority backgrounds to come forward because only 16 per cent of those currently on the register are from these backgrounds.

Poonam said: “Every 20 minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with a blood cancer. For many of them, and those with other blood conditions, the only hope of survival is to find a matching blood stem donor. Many patients never find the life-saving blood stem cell donor match they need, but this isn’t because a match doesn’t exist - it’s simply because there aren’t enough people registered as donors.

“We’re organising the Bhangra Ball to provide a night of cultural entertainment that is not to be missed and, most importantly, it will help us to raise vital funds to support DKMS’s ongoing work to get more and more people registered as stem cell donors. We hope everyone will support us by coming along.”

DKMS Beds organises and attends various events to raise awareness of its work and

encourage people to register as donors. Volunteers will be registering members of the public to be stem cell donors at Bedford Heights on Manton Lane on January 25, 8-10am and 12-2pm, so please drop into the reception. Follow DKMS Beds Hub on Facebook for information about other upcoming events.

Tickets for the Bhangra Ball, including three-course meal, cost £40 each and can be bought via https://dkms-bhangra.eventbrite.co.uk