HERO Graeme Bowser knows what it is like to save a life – now he is hoping someone will do the same for his one-year-old granddaughter.
The 50-year-old gave the gift of life in 2003, when he became a bone marrow donor for a seriously-ill leukaemia patient in Australia, whose only hope was a transplant.
Now, Graeme, of Houghton, is hoping someone will come to the aid of his granddaughter Chloe Gray, of Plains Farm, Sunderland, who was born with a rare blood disorder.
The youngster faces a desperate race against time to find a bone marrow donor to save her life.
“With him working as a fireman he sees a lot of stuff so he did it to hopefully help save lives,” said Chloe’s mum Francesca, 20.
“Afterwards, he got a letter from the Anthony Nolan Trust saying the person who had received his donor wanted to get in contact with him.
“She is a woman from Australia who says she still raises a glass to him every year to say thank-you, because without him she wouldn’t be here.
“We just hope the same happens with Chloe.”
As revealed in the Echo, Chloe’s parents Francesca Gray and Craig Bowser, 27, were dealt the devastating blow that she would not live more than a few hours after she was born.
But the little fighter defied medics and celebrated her first birthday earlier this month.
Chloe underwent two blood transfusions while still in the womb before being diagnosed with Diamond Blackfan Anaemia (DBA), which affects 600 people worldwide.
The tot was born unable to breathe, suffered potentially fatal jaundice after an emergency-induced labour.
Chloe, who weighed just 4lb 10oz, had to endure a gruelling full blood tramsfusion as doctors battled to save her life.
She remained in intensive care for three weeks before being allowed home.
Francesca and Craig are now Chloe’s full-time carers and are praying they find a match, although medics have said Chloe, at the moment, may not be strong enough to cope with the chemotherapy that follows.
“We just want her to have a chance,” said Francesca.
DBA is caused by a failure in the bone marrow that prevents the body from producing red blood cells.
It can leave sufferers critically weak and susceptible to a range of diseases.