First fundraiser held for former Hitchin woman who died of blood cancer

Jaskomal, from Hitchin, who was 23 when she died

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

A charity event held to raise awareness about the need for black, Asian and ethnic minorities to sign up to the bone marrow register has raised more than £5,000.

The Jaskomal Foundation, set up by Joban Shergill from Clifton, hosted its first dinner and dance event on Fridaylast week in memory of his sister Jaskomal Shergill, who died in January last year aged 23 after being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Since its launch a year ago, the foundation has attracted almost 3,000 new bone marrow donors through nationwide registration events, in a bid to tackle the blood cancer disease.

A bone marrow transplant is often the only way to save the life of someone with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, yet only half of the people diagnosed currently are able to find a matching donor.

Speaking about the event in Luton which was attended by more than 600 people, Mr Shergill, formerly of Hitchin, said: “It has gone amazingly well, bringing together family, friends and the community. It was Jaskomal’s 25th birthday and so, while it was an emotional time, it was celebrated just as she would have wanted it to be with lots of dancing and a great party atmosphere.”


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In his speech to guests, Jaskomal’s father Pargan Singh said it was his daughter’s wish to raise awareness and that she had said: “When I get well I will tell my community to come forward and donate.”

The foundation specifically aims to raise awareness about the need for black, Asian and ethnic minorities to sign up for the National Bone Marrow Register as only 6% of donors are of ethnic minority origin, of which 4% are Asian.

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To find out more about the foundation, future events and how to sign up to the register, visit www.jaskomalfoundation.org

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