‘I never want to see another family go through this, it’s heart breaking’.
A mother from Essex is calling for more people to sign up as potential stem cell donors, after she was told her young son urgently needs a transplant to treat his rare cancer.
Speaking about his diagnosis, Micky’s mother Lisa said: He didn’t seem particularly ill at first but he looked quite grey and kept complaining of a beating sound in his ear. He didn’t want to go to school, but he was in his first year of senior school and wasn’t enjoying it at the time, so initially we thought that might have had something to do with it.
Knowing something was wrong with her son, Lisa took Micky to two hospitals seeking treatment. He was diagnosed with ALL and immediately taken in an ambulance to Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Lisa said: ‘I didn’t expect that it would be something so serious, we were told that this type of blood cancer doesn’t respond very well to treatment. The doctors have told us to make memories; we are just devastated, heartbroken.
‘Micky has taken it really well and he’s just getting on with it. We’re doing everything we can to put a smile on his face and we even arranged for his favourite rapper, Stormzy, to come and visit him in hospital.’
Six weeks ago, Lisa was told that Micky urgently needs a stem cell transplant from a matching, unrelated, donor if he is to be cured of his cancer. Anthony Nolan are now looking for that special stranger who could save Micky’s life.
Lisa now wants to campaign for more people to come forward and join the Anthony Nolan stem cell donor register to help other people in the same situation as Micky.
She said: ‘I would never want to see any other family go through this, it’s heart breaking, which is why we want to help as many people as we can by raising awareness of Anthony Nolan. By joining the Anthony Nolan register you have the opportunity to save someone’s life.’
Sarah Rodgers, Regional Register Development Manager for London, said: ‘We are doing everything we can to support Micky’s family in their search for a lifesaving stem cell donor. Every day, five people, like Micky, will start looking for a matching stranger who might save their life.
‘Every single person who joins the Anthony Nolan Register has the potential to help save someone like Micky, who is in desperate need of a transplant. We’re particularly calling on young men aged 16-30 to consider joining the Anthony Nolan register as young men provide 50% of all stem cell donations but currently make up just 18% of our register.’
Anthony Nolan recruits people aged 16-30 to the stem cell register as research has shown younger people are more likely to be chosen to donate. It also costs £40 to recruit each potential donor to the register, so Anthony Nolan relies on financial support.
To find about more about joining the Anthony Nolan register, or to find out more about the different ways you can support, visit anthonynolan.org/join