Asian and Afro-Caribbean Britons in need of a bone marrow transplant have only a one in 125,000 chance of finding a donor match — compared to a one in three chance for white people, Sky News reported Sunday.
There are over 400,000 people on Britain's bone marrow register — but only four percent of those are Asian.
A charity is trying to overcome cultural taboos to persuade more people from different ethnic groups to join the bone marrow register.
Among those in need of a donor is 10-year-old Amun Ali, whose life revolves around lengthy visits to the Birmingham Heartlands Hospital in central England, and strong and frequent medication.
Amun's father, Ashgar Khan, already lost one son to illness. Amun's brother Jabran Ali died aged just four.
Now Khan is backing campaigns to get more potential donors from ethnic minorities to register.
"I just want to make people aware that it's an easy thing to do," he said.