TOWIE star Bobby Cole Norris has today revealed that an anonymous stranger has given his mum a second chance at life.
Blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan has found a lifesaving stem cell donor for Bobby’s mum and ‘best friend’ Kym Norris. Thanks to this selfless stranger, Kym is now recovering at home after her transplant in February.
Today Bobby tweeted a heartfelt message to his Twitter followers:
Somewhere there is an amazing person that registered with @AnthonyNolan and was a match for my mum, I will never be able to thank you enough
— Bobby Norris (@BobbyCNorris) April 15, 2015
Bobby launched the #SaveBobbysMum appeal last August after dental receptionist Kym was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia a few weeks earlier.
At the time, Bobby and Kym were shattered to learn that her only hope of a cure was a stem cell transplant from a stranger, so the reality TV star and fashion designer launched a campaign to help his beloved mum and others like her find their lifesaving matches.
Bobby’s appeal led to over 3,100 people joining the Anthony Nolan stem cell register in one week, a 750% increase compared to the same period the previous year, with the charity’s website crashing after his emotional plea on This Morning.
Stars of TOWIE, Made in Chelsea and Geordie Shore rallied behind the #SaveBobbysMum appeal, with tweets from Katie Price, Mark Wright, Joey Essex, Lauren Goodger, Sam Faiers, Lauren Pope, Stevie Johnson, Charlotte Crosby, Vicky Pattison, Antony Costa, Denise Van Outen and many more, mobilising their millions of young fans to sign up as potential donors and save a life.
Bobby on This Morning talking about the Save Bobby's Mum appeal
To Bobby’s relief, the team at Anthony Nolan were able to identify a stranger on its register of potential donors whose tissue type matched Kym’s and who was willing to donate their stem cells.
Kym is now back at home while she recovers from the procedure, which took place at UCL Hospital. Bobby is now focusing on supporting his mum during her recovery but has vowed to carry on promoting the lifesaving work of Anthony Nolan.
Bobby Cole Norris said: “I can never thank my mum’s donor enough. This amazing person hasn’t just saved my mum, they’ve saved me too. My mum is my best friend and she’s everything to me.
“Without the work of Anthony Nolan, and the hero who donated their stem cells, there would be little hope, it doesn’t bear thinking about. I genuinely feel like there is an Angel on this earth, I hope one day I can thank them in person.”
Reflecting on his appeal, he said: “When my mum was diagnosed, I felt helpless. All I could do apart from being there for Mum was to try to raise awareness of the Anthony Nolan register, particularly to young people who are much more likely to go onto donate and save a life. I was bowled over by how many people signed up as a result of #SaveBobbysMum, and it’s amazing to think that any of these wonderful people could go on to save the life of someone just like my mum.”
Ann O’Leary, Head of Register Development at Anthony Nolan, said: “We’re over the moon that we’ve been able to find a suitable donor for Kym and that she’s now on the road to recovery.
“We’re so grateful to Bobby for spreading the word about the simple but life-changing act of donating stem cells and setting such an incredible and selfless example to young people.
“It’s our goal to save the life of everyone who needs a transplant so it’s wonderful that Bobby is now carrying on the fight against blood cancer and urging even more people to come forward and support the work of Anthony Nolan – in particular young men.”
Men aged 16-30 are seriously underrepresented on the Anthony Nolan register, making up only 15% of potential donors – despite being far more likely to go on to donate and save a life than any other group.
If you’re 16 – 30 and in good health you can join the register online by clicking on the button below.
You can also donate £3 to Anthony Nolan by texting HOPE to 80010