Man from Liverpool appeals
for people to register as potential blood stem cell donors
A man from Liverpool is appealing for
people to register as potential blood stem cell donors with the charity DKMS to
help save his son.
The appeal is being made by Richard Williamson for his 3 year
old son Lennon, who needs to find a matching donor to save his life.
a rare condition and the closest diagnosis is JMML, juvenile myelomonocytic
leukaemia, which is a myelodysplastic syndrome. His parents have been told that
he urgently needs a blood stem donation from someone with a matching tissue
For many with a blood cancer or blood disorder, a blood stem cell donation from
another person is their only chance of survival and they will die if a matching
donor isn't found for them. While around 30% of those seeking a match will find
a donor within their own family, which is usually their sibling, the rest rely
on the altruism of an unrelated donor.
As Lennon is an only child, his best
chance of finding a matching donor is among those who are registered as
potential blood stem cell donors.
Lennon loves playing the drums and putting on his Spiderman suit, and is still
happy and fun loving in spite of his illness. Lennon's friends and family have
set up an international campaign on Facebook and Twitter called #CheekySwab to
raise awareness, organize donor recruitment events, and encourage more research
into these rare disorders that could hold the key to our understanding of how
our blood and immune systems work, and why they sometimes don't.
Urging people to register, Richard Williamson, his father, says:- "This
isn't just for Lennon. We need to improve the chances for all these children who
can't do anything about it. As a parent, it really sucks, and we don't want it
to suck for anyone else. The good thing is, it's really easy to do and it
literally throws a lifeline to someone."
Lennon himself says, "No
job too big, no puppy too small! C'mon ye Cheeky Swabs! Let's roll!"
Emphasising how important it is for people to register, Aga Chrosciel, donor
recruitment manager at DKMS, said:- "Registering as a potential blood stem
cell donor only takes a few minutes, but it could lead to you giving decades to
someone else. It could lead to you saving Lennon's life or the life of someone
else in need of a blood stem cell donation for his or her survival. Please take
the time to do it as it could be one of the most important things you ever do."
You can register in 5 minutes online and request a cheek swab kit that will
enable you to do your own tissue test to go on the database to maybe 1 day
become a blood stem cell donor through the DKMS