A brave leukaemia patient, who successfully fought the Home Office to allow her sister to come to the UK to be her bone marrow donor, has died.
We reported the story in March of this year, when we learnt how she launched the #SaveMayBrown campaign, with support from the blood cancer charity ACLT, to fight the Home Office to overturn a visa ban barring her sister, Martha Williams, from gaining entry into the UK. May needed her sister to donate her bone marrow (stem cells) after it was confirmed that Martha was a 10 out of 10 match for May.
More than 65,000 people signed her #SaveMayBrown e-petition and within a week, the Home Office changed their decision, with Martha arriving a few days later.
May’s transplant was initially delayed as she became unwell with a virus and required further chemotherapy treatment before the transplant could take place. But in January, the transplant went ahead and May received her sister’s donated stem cells. Martha returned to Nigeria in April, having spent time post the transplant to support her sister back to health. May was declared to be free of the illness, however, one week after her sister left, May relapsed.
She sadly passed away, with her husband ex-soldier) Mike, three-year-old daughter Selina and other loved ones by her side, last Friday.
Mike Brown, said: “May will forever be remembered in our hearts. She was a strong, beautiful, supportive, wonderful wife and mother; Selina and I will truly miss her. May was incredibly grateful to the support given to her from ACLT, and I echo those words on behalf of me and our daughter Selina. She will forever remain in our hearts.”
Beverley De-Gale (co-founder of ACLT and mother to the UK’s first black recipient of an unrelated stem cell transplant) said: “In the 18 months, I’ve known her, I can say May was a remarkable woman who fought hard to beat this terrible illness. Every member of the ACLT team is extremely saddened by her passing.”