Mum thanks blood donors

Chloe Gray, who needs a life-saving bone marrow transplant.

Chloe Gray, who needs a life-saving bone marrow transplant.

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A MUM has sent out a special thank-you to kind-hearted Echo readers who have taken time out to help save a life.

Our Chloe’s Call-Up campaign aims to boost the number of people giving blood to help save the life of little Chloe Gray and other sick youngsters like her.

Today, parents Francesca Gray and Craig Bowser are thanking those who have already given the gift of life by donating blood.

Francesca, 20, of Plains Farm, said: “We’d like to thank every reader who has already given the precious gift of blood that will help to keep my daughter and other children alive.

“We would also urge anyone who hasn’t already given blood to do it. It’s really easy and doesn’t take much time at all.

“Each pint donated really does save a life.”

Chloe, 15 months old, has fought for her life since being in the womb where she had to undergo two blood transfusions.

Francesca and Craig were told their daughter would not survive more than 10 hours when she was born five weeks premature, weighing just 4lb 10oz.

But the brave battler, who has blood disorder Diamond Blackfan Anaemia, had a full blood exchange the day after she was born.

Since then, Chloe has been kept alive by the blood transfusions she has to undergo every four weeks.

Darren Bowen, lead donor relations manager for the North East, said: “We’re really pleased to be able to set up this kind of campaign with the Echo and we hope people will take on board the importance of blood donation.

“Little Chloe is testament to that and we need to collect around 13,000 units of blood every year in Sunderland to help patients who are in need of vital transfusions to save or improve their quality of life.

“You never know if you or someone you love will need blood, so I’m appealing to anyone who is eligible to make a date to donate.”

To give blood you must be aged over 17, weigh more than 7st 12lbs and be in good general health.

There is no upper age limit for donors who have donated in the last two years.

To find out when the sessions take place, phone 0300 123 2323 or visit www.blood.co.uk.

Twitter: @sunechocrime

MEDICS have said for little Chloe to survive into adulthood, she needs a bone marrow transplant.

But the tot is not strong enough to undergo the chemotherapy that would follow, meaning it may be 10 years before she is able to have it.

Now her family are urging people to sign up to charity Anthony Nolan’s urgent appeal to get 10,000 men, aged 18 to 30, to join its stem cell donor register.

Men in this age group are more likely to be chosen to donate, but account for just 12 per cent of donors on the register.

The charity’s medical director, Professor Charles Craddock, said: “When the transplant team look for a matching donor for their patient, they ideally want someone fit and healthy and as men are usually bigger, we are likely to get more stem cells from them.

“There are a lot of misunderstandings about what it means to donate, but I’d urge young people to find out more. It’s very easy to join the register.”

To join the Anthony Nolan register, you need to complete a medical questionnaire and give a small saliva sample.

For information, visit www.anthonynolan.org or phone 0303 303 0303.