Saturday 22 October 2016

Cancer patient wins battle to allow sister into the UK

May Brown

A young mother in need of a life-saving stem cell transplant has spoken of her joy after a visa to bring her donor-match sister to the UK was granted.

May Brown, who was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia last year, appealed to immigration officials to allow her sister, Martha, entry to the UK from Nigeria after the Home Office originally refused her application.

Her sister is the only suitable match, found after what doctors at King's College hospital in London said had been an extensive search for another donor.

Brown, who lives in Dorset with her daughter and her husband, Mike, said: "I was elated when I received the news Martha was a 10 out of 10 match. But when I received notification her visa was rejected, I felt distraught and helpless. My two-year-old daughter Selina needs me. She needs me to be back home with her, looking after her.

"To know my life isn't important to those who have the power to help me is deeply upsetting. My life can be saved if my sister is granted to enter the UK to donate her stem cells. This is a six-hour journey which will help save my life. I am begging for the UK Home Office to review their decision and grant my sister admission to the UK."

More than 1,500 people have now signed a petition, launched by the blood cancer charity African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust (ACLT), asking the Home Office to reverse the decision.

A Home Office spokeswoman said it could not comment on individual cases, but added: "We are sensitive to cases with compassionate circumstances, but all visa applications must be assessed against the immigration rules. The onus is on the individual to provide the necessary supporting evidence to prove they meet the requirements."



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