Woman Left Distraught After Sister Is Refused UK Visa To Donate Stem Cells (Video)


May Brown

On 13 October 2016 a May Brown launched an appeal to the Home Office/UK Visa & Immigration to allow her sister to visit the UK from Nigeria for a lifesaving stem cell (bone marrow) transplant. 

The ACLT (African Caribbean Leukemia Trust) has been supporting May with help and advice, hospital visits and emotional support since her relapse earlier this year.

May was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia last year and lives in Dorset with her husband Mike, an ex British soldier, and their two year old daughter Selina May.

After receiving four cycles of chemotherapy, May went into remission. However, sadly, nine months later she relapsed (the cancer returned), this time more aggressively.

Consultants have confirmed May’s only chance of survival is to receive a stem cell transplant from a donor with a matching tissue type.

May who is scheduled to start a second round of chemotherapy at King’s College Hospital, London, has been told that “they are running out of time” if they are to start chemotherapy treatment and carry out the transplant post getting her back into remission.

The medical tests show May’s sister Martha, who resides in Nigeria with her two children, has been identified as a 10 out of 10 match for her sister and therefore has the ability to save her sister’s life by donating her stem cells.

Despite letters from hospital consultants confirming Martha’s status as the only available matching donor for the urgent stem cell transplant. Martha, who is a school teacher in Nigeria, has been refused a visa to enter the UK as she did not meet economic requirements. This is despite her sister May, agreeing to sponsor her trip to the UK, covering her return flights, accommodation and any living expenses during her short stay.

The letter from UK Visas & Immigration states:

“I am not satisfied that you are a genuine visitor and will leave the UK at the end of your visit or that you have sufficient funds available to cover your costs whilst in the UK without working or accessing public funds.” 

May, who has been in hospital for the last three months 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.”

She added:

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.


You can help to get this decision by the Home Office overturned by signing the petition and encouraging others to do so by sharing it.

Click HERE to help save May Brown’s life.

1 reply »

  1. Does anyone know if there has been a fundraiser opened to support this lady ? I realise that the decision to bar her access has huge medical issues for her sister, but the reason she has been refused access is purely financial. I, along with many others, I suspect, would be happy to chuck a fiver into the pot to support her during her stay, while she helps her sister.

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October 2016
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