Two Sikh congregations have showed a united front by registering 500 donors and raising thousands of pounds to increase bone marrow donors in the borough last week.
The chance of finding a matching donor within the British Asian community is far smaller than if you were from a Caucasian background, due to lower population figures.
The two Sikh temples in Redbridge – Gurdwara Karamsar in High Road, Ilford, and Gurdwara Singh Sabha in High Road, Seven Kings, held an event, on behalf of Delete Blood Cancer, to register blood donors and raise money for the cause.
Mankamal Singh, a committee member at the Singh Sabha Gurdwara, said: “I was definitely amazed by the response but the temple was busy because it was the Sikh festival of Vaisakhi. The mind set of the festival is to help people.
Harpreet Lall attended the two-day festival on the Monday.
Her six-year-old son Milan Singh Lall was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia in January after being in remission for three years.
Aged just three Milan was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.
Mrs Lall, a teacher assistant from Gidea Park, Romford, has had to leave her job to care for her son.
She said: “There are not many donors amongst Asians as a whole – I think there is only 3 per cent in the whole world on the national and international register.”
But Mrs Lall, whose family helped drive the cancer awareness campaign, is still trying to find a confirmed donor for her son.
She added: “We do not know if one of those 700 donors will help us in the future.”
Mrs Lall admitted she was “very surprised” £7,000 was donated to Delete Blood Cancer.
“We had people coming into the temple and pulling up their sleeves and saying “where do we give blood.”
If anyone still wants to register as a potential donor to help someone with Leukaemia, they can do so by visiting deletebloodcancer.org.uk