Sunderland blood donors can give cute Chloe a lifeline

Chloe Gray
Chloe Gray
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CUTE Chloe Gray looks the picture of health as she plays with her toys.

But her life is actually dependent on Wearsiders who come forward and give blood.

17 month old Chloe Gray is the face of the Sunderland Echo's, Chloe's call-up campaign which is encouraging more blood donors to come forward over the winter. Chloe's mum and dad, Francesca Gray and Craig Bowsen are also putting on a fundraiser at Rainton Meadow's Arena in December to raise money for charity.

17 month old Chloe Gray is the face of the Sunderland Echo's, Chloe's call-up campaign which is encouraging more blood donors to come forward over the winter. Chloe's mum and dad, Francesca Gray and Craig Bowsen are also putting on a fundraiser at Rainton Meadow's Arena in December to raise money for charity.

The 17-month-old, the face of the Echo’s Chloe’s Call-up Campaign, needs a life-saving blood transplant once a month, after being diagnosed with rare, life-threatening Diamond Blackfan Anaemia.

And her need, along with hundreds of others, is particularly great at this time of year.

Darren Bowen, the NHS Blood and Transplant Service lead donor relations manager for the North East, said: “As the Christmas holidays approach, people are often busy shopping and making arrangements with family and friends, so it’s easy to forget that appointment in the diary to donate blood.

“And in addition to the challenges that Christmas can bring, if last year’s wintry weather repeats itself, blood donations could fall by as much as 20 per cent over the festive season.”

Chloe will eventually need a bone marrow transplant to keep her alive, but the battler’s body cannot cope with the chemotherapy needed.

Until she grows strong enough, which could be in about 10 years, she will have to have the blood transfusions.

Chloe’s mum Francesca, 20, of Plains Farm, said: “People don’t realise how important it is to give blood.

“It really can help to save a life and it doesn’t take much time or effort at all.

“If it wasn’t for people doing this then Chloe might not be here, so please take time out to donate blood.”

Chloe’s Call-up Campaign aims to increase the number of people across the region donation blood on a regular basis.

Mr Bowen said: “We’re asking Echo readers to think of the hospital patients - many of them children like Chloe - who need blood transfusions over the festive period just like they do at any other time of the year.

“We would urge people to show warm hearts by helping to save lives and making a date to donate this Christmas.”

To find out when and where your nearest donation centre is, visit www.blood.co.uk

Twitter: @sunechochief

CHLOE’S parents Francesca and Craig Bowser are hoping to raise money for charity next month.

On Friday, December 2, they are holding Chloe’s Call-Up Charity Night at Rainton Meadows Arena, in the hope of raising vital funds for Diamond Blackfan Anaemia and the Anthony Nolan charity.

The evening will see entertainment from comedian Chris Ramsey, who has starred on 8 out of 10 cats and Comedy Rocks, from 8pm.

This will be followed by music from DJs Jordan Fitzsimmons and Craig Blacklock.

There will also be a charity auction, games and there will be a green and red dress theme.

Alcohol and food will be on sale throughout the night.

Tickets are £7.50, including a drink on arrival, and can be bought from the Sunderland Echo, Rainton Meadows Arena or by contacting Francesca, through the Facebook Chloe’s Call-up Charity Night event page.

The event starts at 7pm and runs until midnight.