The life of a mum of three “has changed for the worse” after she developed a rare blood cancer that drastically changed the way she looks.

Brenda McKenzie, a 58-year-old mum from Islington, was diagnosed with cutaneous T-lymphoma (CTCL) in 2019.

The cancer has left her with visible swelling and red lumps on her face, meaning she experiences extreme pain in her day-to-day life.

The blood disease has progressed from stage one to stage four over the past four years, and Brenda now needs an urgent stem cell transplant to beat it.

Brenda said that she was first admitted to hospital with inflammation of the skin on her legs in 2017.

In 2018, Brenda was admitted to hospital again, except this time the inflammation covered her entire body.

She said that her skin was “red” and felt as if it was “burning like fire”.

A third hospital admission to Whittington Hospital in 2019 concerned doctors, as Brenda had swelling and raised red lumps on her face.

Brenda said: “This is where my life has changed for the worse, as I had biopsies performed which confirmed I had cutaneous T - cell lymphoma.

“This was devastating news for me because over the years I had so many biopsies, but it never showed anything abnormal.”

At the moment, no existing stem cell register has managed to find an unrelated donor match for Brenda.

The African Caribbean Leukemia Trust (ACLT) claims that Black people have just a 37% chance of finding their best possible stem cell match, compared to 72% of white people.

To register as a donor visit - - today. 

ACLT co-founder Beverley De-Gale says: “Brenda's physical appearance has drastically changed due to the illness, as evidenced by comparing past and present pictures.

“In addition to the internal effects, the condition has caused visible swelling and lumps on her face.

“Despite doctors searching the worldwide stem cell register for a match, one has not been found.

“Her chance of beating this illness is now in the hands of a stranger, someone who makes the selfless decision to join the stem cell register to help her and others like Brenda.

“I’m urging the Black community to step forward and join the stem cell register to help Brenda, and others like her, in desperate need.”