Ally's Fight



December 2016 - Jan 2017


Sam Carlisle and Simon London



The ask:

Ally Kim is a gorgeous two-year-old boy with the genetic disorder CGD. He is in desperate need of a blood stem cell transplant to save his life. His family live in Oxfordshire but are of Korean origin so the stem cell donor would have to be of East Asian origin to match Ally’s genetic blood type. The CGD Society approached us to raise awareness of a donor drive being held in New Malden, Surrey, in January. New Malden has the largest Korean population in Europe but the East Asian community has a poor record of registering as donors (only 0.5% of the national register).


What we did:



We got to know Ally’s family. Ally was in and out of Great Ormond Street Hospital having treatment so we wanted to respect his parents’ time with him. It was crucial we could tell the Kims' story without bothering them too much. We also read up on the science.



We went straight to the most high-profile Korean in the UK to urge donors to come forward for testing - Tottenham Hotspur Football Club's star striker and Korean international player, Son Heung Min. He graciously agreed to film an appeal in English and Korean urging people to be tested. We worked with Spurs and the Kims on a script that Son was happy with and that conveyed the crucial messages of the campaign.  We then sent it out virally and arranged for the video to appear on Son's personal Facebook page. The impact was huge. The day it was posted the film received 10,000 views. To date it has been seen by MORE THAN 111,000 people around the world. Son’s support was picked up nationally by The Sun and Sun on-line (4 million readers) and internationally by Korean and US media. We made second edits of the films for use after January.



This campaign had to target all media platforms. We wrote and placed articles in local newspapers, magazines and websites. We visited Korean-language newspaper offices based in Surrey to explain the campaign and ensure coverage. We targeted Korean You Tubers and bloggers who mentioned the campaign to their thousands of followers. We worked with the CGD Society on simple flyers in English and Korean to hand out in New Malden.


The results:

Cross-media international coverage. Son's film was picked up by Korean and Chinese TV and the CGD logo seen by millions. 18 more donor drives took place as a result. 78 people were tested  in New Malden (2% of the population compared to 0.5% on the national register).

Ally's family is still looking for a donor.

Old school flyer

Old school flyer

Son's video (below) prompted 18 more donor drives internationally.