GMB: Al Murray asks viewers to make stem cell donation
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Men under 30 make the best potential donors but form only seven percent of volunteers. Research from the DKMS charity to mark World Blood Cancer Day today showed fear of blood or needles was what put most people off. But the mother of one young sufferer said a few hours of time could transform her son’s life.
Ryan Brissett has had chronic granulomatous disorder – which prevents white blood cells working – since he was a few weeks old, leaving him at severe risk of infection. His mum Hannah said the three-year-old “struggles to understand why he has to take medication every day and go to hospital. He can’t run around in a park or visit animals like other children.
“All we can do now is hope that a selfless stranger registers as a blood stem-cell donor.”
Hannah, of Bracknell, Berks, added: “It’s a few hours of their time to donate, but for Ryan it’s giving him a whole new life.”
Around 2,000 people are waiting for a life-saving stem-cell transplant from a genetically similar donor each year. Most donations are collected relatively pain-free from blood, without surgery, and there is a quick recovery.
Jonathan Pearce, the chief executive of DKMS UK, said: “We have an opportunity to drive lifesaving action by simply shouting about how straightforward, yet vital, the blood stem-cell donation process is. The number of donors, particularly from young males, sadly comes nowhere near to meeting the demand from people desperately seeking a vital donation from a complete stranger.”
Find out more details at dkms.org.uk/wbcd
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