1,500 people sign up to help Sunderland youngster Chloe Gray in search for lifesaving donor
Around 1,500 people have signed up to see if they could be a lifesaving donor for Sunderland youngster Chloe Gray.
Seven-year-old Chloe was born with a rare blood disorder called Diamond Blackfan Anaemia, which means her body doesn’t produce red blood cells and she needs regular blood transfusions to stay alive.
She urgently needs a bone marrow transplant, but a matching donor has not yet been found.
Chloe’s family have launched an urgent campaign, backed by the Sunderland Echo and The Bradley Lowery Foundation, to get people to sign up to the DKMS register to see if they could be a potential match.
The Echo is calling on businesses and individuals across Wearside to support the campaign to save little Chloe Gray.
We are also calling on our readers to come forward and sign up to a donor register to see if they could be the one that could save her.
Mum Francesca Bowser, 27, from Silksworth, said: “Since we started the campaign for Chloe back in October 2017 there have been around 1,500 people sign up in person.
“There have also been hundreds more online.
“It’s a really encouraging number, but we need to keep on going to see if we can get a load more to get a match for Chloe.
“We haven’t got any more events planned, but anyone with ideas for venues for events such as call centres, schools, shopping centres etc, please could they get in touch with me via email or Chloe’s Facebook page.”
Recent months have seen the family hold a number of sign up events which aim so get people to join the DKMS register to see if they could be a potential match for someone needing a donor.
The family have held events at Silksworth Ski Slope, EDF Energy and Kayll Road library in Sunderland, among others.
Sunderland AFC have also got involved in the action encouraging fans to sign up at their away game against Reading FC in April.
Speaking to the Echo earlier this year, Francesca, who is married to dad Craig Bowser, and also has daughter Millie Gray, 11, said that she has been told by doctors that Chloe needs the transplant by the end of the year.
The Plains Farm Primary School pupil, needs a 10/10 match for the best chance of survival, but Francesca say they have made the tough decision to accept a 9/10 match because of the race against time. But such a transplant comes with increased risk.
Francesca added: “The response that we have had from people signing up in person or online has been great.
“We have had lots of messages of support from people wishing her well and hoping that she will find a donor soon.
“I just want to thank everyone for their support.”
People in the UK aged between 17 and 55 can sign up to the DMKS stem cell register by taking a swab of the inside of their cheeks and sending it off to see if they are a match to be donor.
To join the register, visit www.dkms.org.uk to check whether you are eligible.
If so, register your details and you will be sent a swab kit in the post.
Simply swab the inside of your cheek and send the kit back.
Once it has been received, you will be on the register.
To volunteer a venue for an event please email: [email protected] or search for Chloe’s DBA fight #aheroforchloe on Facebook.