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Weekly Edition - Published  27 June 2016

 

Local News Report - Mobile Page

 

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.

Lennon has 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 type.

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 website.

 

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