Sick Sunderland tot’s mum in donor appeal to men

Fourteen-month-old Chloe Gray with her mum Francesca.

Fourteen-month-old Chloe Gray with her mum Francesca.

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A MUM is making a heartfelt plea for Wearside men to sign up and help save a life.

Francesca Gray, whose daughter Chloe is the face of the Echo’s Chloe’s Call-Up campaign, is making the plea to young men to join charity Anthony Nolan’s register.

Echo campaign to encourage people to donate blood. Chloe Gray, aged one, from Farringdon needs a blood transfusion every four weeks and her family, dad Craig, mum Francesca, and big sister Millie are backing our campaign. Pictured is Chloe.

Echo campaign to encourage people to donate blood. Chloe Gray, aged one, from Farringdon needs a blood transfusion every four weeks and her family, dad Craig, mum Francesca, and big sister Millie are backing our campaign. Pictured is Chloe.

A national campaign was launched in July to recruit 10,000 young men to become potential blood stem cell donors by the end of October.

But the charity is struggling to hit its 400-recruit target in the North East, with just over 40 per cent signing up to date.

Anthony Nolan saves the lives of people with blood cancer by matching them to people willing to donate their blood stem cells for life-saving transplants.

With the campaign drawing to a close at the end of the month, men are being urged to answer the call for donors.

Francesca’s 16-month-old daughter Chloe suffers from life-threatening blood disorder Diamond Blackfan Anaemia.

Francesca, of Plains Farm, said: “It’s really important that people sign up to this register as it can literally save a life.

“We’ve worked with Anthony Nolan for a while as Chloe will eventually need a bone marrow transplant to stay alive and they deal with that too.

“I know the reason a lot of people don’t want to is because they think the donor process is painful.

“It’s not. It takes a couple of hours sitting in a hospital, doesn’t damage you in any way and will save somebody’s life.”

Anthony Nolan carried out a survey of people across the region earlier this year that revealed a third of people feared donating stem cells would be painful.

But medics say the process is similar to giving blood.

Charlotte Connolly, regional recruitment manager, said: “There are millions of tissue types, which is what we match for a transplant to be able to go ahead.

“Men aged 18 to 30 are the most likely to be asked to donate so the more young men from the North East who sign up to the register, the more lives we can save.”

For more information visit www.anthonynolan.org/spit or call 0303 303 0303.

Twitter: @sunechocrime