The mum of a Sunderland girl battling a rare blood disorder has appealed to the public to turn out today.
Chloe Gray suffers from a condition known as Diamond Blackfan Anaemia, which affects just 700 people in the world.
The six-year-old is reliant on blood transfusions and her only chance of a cure and a normal childhood is for a stem cell transplant.
But there is no match on the donor register - and her family has launched a drive to encourage people to sign up.
No-one in Chloe's family is a match, so her only hope is to find a complete stranger who is.
Chloe, who has blood transfusions every three to four weeks, is currently being supported by the blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan, which is holding a sign-up session at hre school, The family of a Sunderland girl battling a rare blood disorder have appealed for a ‘hero’ to help save her school, Plains Farm Academy from 3.15pm this afternoon.
Mum Francesca Bowser said: "We just need as many people as possible to sign up."
Joining the register is a simple matter of providing a DNA sample via a painless cheek swab:
"If people come along this afternoon, we will do the swabs there and then," said Francesca.
"We need people to come along and register. I hope anyone who is able to do so will."
Chloe has been battling for survival since before she was born. A 20-week scan revealed she had fluid in all her vital organs and tests showed she was severely anaemic.
She underwent her first blood transfusion just 22 into the pregnancy.
And after being born five weeks premature, weighing just 4lbs 10oz, the tot had to have a full blood exchange, which saw all of the blood removed from her body and replaced, to keep her alive.
Diamond Blackfan Anaemia means the bone marrow does not produce red blood cells properly. It can be treated with blood transfusions, steroids, or a stem cell transplant.
The transfusions have left Chloe with an unnaturally high build-up of iron in her body, which has to be dissipated with a pump that is attached to her 24 hours a day. At the same time, Chloe is anaemic, and has to be tube-fed seven times a day. A stem cell transplant would mean Chloe’s bone marrow is replaced with healthy, donated bone marrow and she would no longer be reliant on blood transfusions.