IT’S no wonder that Shreenik Khadka has been shortlisted for Young Hero of the Year at this year’s Anthony Nolan Supporter Awards.

He is courageous and inspiring in more ways than one.

At just four years old, Shreenik, who is the son of a Gurkha sergeant, awaits the conclusive stem cell his loved ones hope will put paid to his leukaemia. His illness is currently in remission but doctors say it is likely to return.

Although little beyond infancy, he meets his challenge with a bravery and determination which suggest that such qualities might be hereditary.

Shreenik’s other achievement is raising public awareness of the need for more donors to come forward, especially if they are members of ethnic minorities.

As we point out in our story today, thanks to a general lack of donors only 60 per cent of transplant recipients across the board receive the best match possible for their needs. This is unsatisfactory in itself, but the figure for patents from ethnic minorities is 20.5 per cent.

All available evidence suggests that the overall lack of donors — of whatever ethnicity — is not down to selfishness or any other human failing.

Rather, it seems to be down to a simple lack of knowledge.

Most of us would not know how to go about becoming a donor, what qualities are needed in a donor or what making a donation entails.

It is for this reason that the work of the Anthony Nolan Trust is so important, why events such as its supporter awards are crucial — and why people like Shreenik deserve so much gratitude.