Bonded By Blood: A Mother's Story
Donate blood in memory of Richard Okorogheye
Mothers are appealing for more Black donors to help people with sickle cell, like Richard.
19-year-old Richard Okorogheye first appeared in national news in April 2021 after disappearing from his home in London. He had sickle cell disorder and needed regular blood transfusions to stay well. Sadly, two weeks later, his body was found 20 miles away in Epping Forest.
In Richard's memory, Bonded By Blood, a coalition of mothers who have seen the lifesaving power of blood first-hand, and blood charities, are urging more members of the Black community to donate blood.
There are currently 15,000 people with sickle cell in the UK which mainly affects people of Black heritage. Many people living with sickle cell require regular blood transfusions. Black donors are ten times more likely to have the rare blood sub type needed to provide the best match.
A greater number of Black people are stepping forward to donate blood, but to meet hospital demand we need more.
How you can help
A series of special blood donation sessions will be held in Richard's memory across London, Manchester, Birmingham and Bristol.
These will take place in September for World Sickle Cell Awareness Month, and October during Black History Month.
Book an appointment and join a community of lifesaving donors.
Mothers up and down the country have seen the lifesaving power of blood used to treat illnesses like sickle cell, during childbirth, emergencies, blood cancer and a range of other medical conditions.
Hear powerful stories from mothers who have supported children through blood transfusion journeys.
Bonded By Blood charities
The four Black health charities and individuals behind the campaign include the Richard Okorogheye Foundation, blood cancer charity ACLT (African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust), community organisations Unsickle My Cells (CIC) and SickleKan.
The campaign is supported by NHS Blood and Transplant.