A donor drive to get Wearsiders to sign up and potentially save the life of a Sunderland schoolgirl has been backed by the Bradley Lowery Foundation.
Silksworth seven-year-old Chloe Gray is in need of a stem cell donation to help her body deal with Diamond Blackfan Anaemia, a rare blood disorder she was born with.
She has already undergone more than 100 blood transfusions - including one while she was still in her mum Francesca’s womb - but her body is now beginning to build antibodies against it.
The answer is to undergo a stem cell donation, with the search on to find her a match as her mum and dad Craig Bowser lead the call in the hope one can be found for her and others also in need of help.
Their appeal, backed through the #aheroforchloe hashtag, has is also being supported by the Bradley Lowery Foundation, set up in memory of the six-year-old Sunderland fan from Blackhall who died in July after losing his fight against neuroblastoma cancer.
Lynn Murphy, who has helped set up the foundation with Bradley’s mum Gemma, will be at The Bridges all day on Monday where a recruitment event will run to get people to sign up to a donor register.
It’s a great cause and it’s something so simple but it could save a life.LYNN MURPHY
It has already received a boost of 2,000 names since the shout out was shared through Bradley’s Facebook page.
Lynn said: “It’s a great cause and it’s something so simple but it could save a life.
“It’s not too much to ask of people to go on the donor register and I’m sure they would want people to do the same if it was one of their children.”
Chloe’s family is also being backed by blood cancer charity DKMS, which holds the register and also helps others with blood disorders.
Porsha Nunes-Brown, the fund’s donor recruitment manager, will be with Francesca, Lynn and a team of helpers at the shopping centre to encourage people to register.
Volunteers need to be aged between 17 and 55 and in general good health.
Porsha said: “Chloe’s family reached out to us to help them find a suitable donor.
“We have been contacting local businesses and trying to get more people to sign up.
“We’re working on two things, to raise more awareness and to register people, which is simply by taking a cheek swab from both sides and it takes just two minutes and then they fill in a medical form.
“I’ll be there on the day at the Bridges and I think it will be a great opportunity to speak to people and help increase support for Chloe’s appeal and also educate people on how they can get involved to help save Chloe’s life or anyone else in need of a blood stem cell donation.”
Since 2013, DKMS UK has registered more than 300,000 people as potential blood stem cell donors, giving 439 people a second chance.
Anyone interested in signing up who has had a chronic or serious condition now or in the past, or take medication regularly, can chat with a member of the DKMS UK team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
People who cannot make it to The Bridges between 9.30am and 5.30pm can register online at dkms.org.uk.