Saving a Stranger

Saving a Stranger is a powerful, heart-wrenching documentary that highlights the suffering of the thousands of people waiting for bone marrow transplants in the UK.


This Community Channel exclusive, which broadcasts Thursday, October 19th at 9pm (repeated Sunday, October 22nd at 10pm), aims to inspire people from asian, black and ethnic minority groups to join the bone marrow register in order to find a match that can help save lives.


The film introduces us to the plight of 12-year-old Yvette Gate from Bristol, whose only chance of survival is a bone marrow transplant.


Yvette suffers from aplastic anaemia. Her bone marrow has stopped functioning, which means she cannot produce her own blood, and has to rely on transfusions to say alive. Yvette originates from the Gambia and is more likely to find a match from someone of the same ethnic origin. But there is a desperate shortage of all bone marrow donors and a particular shortage of donors from black and ethnic minority groups.


Yvette’s parents, Mary and David Gate, are becoming increasingly desperate to find a bone marrow match for Yvette.


They are pinning all their hopes on a bone marrow registration clinic that has taken months of organisation. The film also concentrates on the inspiring Asma Meer, who lost her three-year old son Ibrahim because they couldn’t find a match for a bone marrow transplant. 

Asma is now a dedicated campaigner, raising awareness and trying to recruit more donors onto the bone marrow register.



The film also introduces us to Roy, who goes through the process of donating his bone marrow to a stranger and Mark, who against all the odds finds a donor and beats leukaemia. Made in association with the Anthony Nolan Trust and African Caribbean Leukemia Trust, Saving a Stranger is narrated by Radio 1 DJ Trevor Nelson, who has a personal interest in this subject.


Saving a Stranger is calling out for more volunteers to join the bone marrow register and help recruit their friends and colleagues where they work, live and socialize. By getting into particular ethnic communities, these volunteers can play a vital role in adding to the diversity of the register. A clinic can then be organized in that person’s location (community centre, mosque, workplace) and blood samples taken from the volunteers. They are then on the register, giving a better chance of survival to desperately ill people like Yvette Gate



Notes to editors:Community Channel is TV that gives a damn. It makes you think again about the world around you, and inspires you to take action on the causes and issues that matter to you. Broadcasting original shows, the best of terrestrial TV and showcasing the work of new directors and community programme makers; Community Channel is the place for real-life stories. The channel is broadcast 24 hours a day, every day on Sky 539, ntl:Telewest 233 and from 6-9am on Freeview 87. The channel is freely available to around 45 million people in 18.2 million homes across the country and around 1.2 million people watch every month (BARB). Community Channel is a Media Trust initiative. Visit  


The Anthony Nolan Trust saves lives by recruiting new donors to the UK's most successful bone marrow register as well as undertaking vital research leading to improvements in the effectiveness and safety of bone marrow transplants. To join the Anthony Nolan Trust's register individuals need to be 18-40 years old in good health and fully committed to undergo the donation procedure if required. The Anthony Nolan Trust specifically needs to recruit more young male donors.  


African Caribbean Leukaemia TrustEstablished in 1996 by Beverley De-Gale and Orin Lewis (step-dad), the parents of former leukaemia sufferer Daniel De-Gale. Our aim is to raise awareness and increase black and mixed parentage representation on the UK Bone Marrow registers. Finding a match is greater if the donor is from the same racial background. After 24 years only 550 black people had ever joined the register. The ACLT has helped raise it to approx. 18,500. We also offer support to black people suffering with leukaemia and all other blood related cancers. Leukaemia strikes at random, it is not contagious or hereditary but unlike sickle cell anaemia, high blood pressure or lupus, is not thought of as a black illness.




Sign In