Bone marrow campaign in memory of Hitchin woman, 23, sees 400 sign up to register

Jaskomal, from Hitchin, who was 23 when she died

Jaskomal, from Hitchin, who was 23 when she died - Credit: Archant

A CAMPAIGN set up in memory of a woman who died battling blood cancer has attracted more than 400 new potential bone marrow donors after branching out nationwide.

The foundation has been set up by Joban in memory of his sister

The foundation has been set up by Joban in memory of his sister - Credit: Archant

The family of Jaskomal Sher-gill set up a foundation in the 23-year-old’s memory, in a bid to get more ethnic minorities to join the bone marrow register.

Jaskomal, who was from Hitchin but moved to Clifton shortly before her death, was donated blood cells by brother Joban, but she later died from a chest infection contracted because her immune system was so low.

The Comet reported the story when the Jaskomal Foundation was set up and now, four months on, the campaign has seen more than 400 people join the register.

It has also received public backing from national cancer charity Anthony Nolan.

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Jaskomal’s aunt Wendy Mann, who is on the register herself and has donated blood cells twice, said: “We are very pleased, it has exceeded all of the expectations that Anthony Nolan had for us.

“Once people understand what it is we are doing, they are more than willing to help.”

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The campaign launched at this year’s Hitchin Vaisakhi parade and volunteers have since been travelling the south-east and midlands to spread the word.

“It’s so rare to have somebody in the family who’s a match which is why it’s so important to increase people on the register,” said Wendy.

“We want this to be an ongoing process – eventually, our aim is it will become second nature for 18-year-olds onwards to be able to do it. They will consider doing it automatically, because they know of other people who have.”

The campaign is also hoping to spread the word on how easy it is both to join the register and donate.

“In the old days, you used to take blood samples, but now all they do is take a small sample of saliva, and that gets sent off. From that they can tell if you are a match, and then they’ll get in touch,” said Wendy.

“Donating itself is just like giving blood – it just takes a bit longer.”

The next publicity events will be held in the Sikh Gurdwara, Queens Park, Bedford, on September 27 and 28. There are also plans to attend freshers’ fairs across London.

To find out more about donating and the charity, visit or follow @JaskomalFDN on Twitter.

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