Wearsiders are already proving to be heroes in the search for someone to help save the life of a city schoolgirl.
While the hunt for a stem cell donor for seven-year-old Chloe Gray goes on, the campaign to recruit people to the register of the DKMS charity has added thousands of names to its list thanks to Sunderland people willing to offer their support.
Two people have been matched up with others on the waiting list as a result of the drive by Chloe’s family and friends to find new members to join the register.
Now a new event is lined up to seek out more volunteers in the hope of helping Chloe and others also in need.
The Bridges will play host to the session on Tuesday and follows on from the success of one run at the shopping centre last year.
Shoppers can sign up by filling in a form and providing a quick mouth swab, which will then be checked to add their details to a database.
We hope the day down at The Bridges will be another success, because last time we got around 300 names.Francesca Bowser
It comes as the search for a match for Plains Farm Primary pupil Chloe intensifies because she is becoming more unwell as time goes on.
She has Diamond Blackfan Anaemia (DBA), a bone marrow failure, which means she has to undergo a O Negative blood transfusion every four weeks.
But her body is developing antibodies against the donations, causing a build up of iron in her system and making her feel ill.
Mum Francesca Bowser, 27, who is married to Craig, 34, and also mum to Freddie Bowser, two, Millie Gray, 11, and stepson Tye Bowser, 12, said: “She’s had some recent liver biopsy which shows that the iron overload from the transfusions has got worse.
“It’s getting harder to control her iron levels and she’s getting really tired all the time and it’s becoming harder to match her blood when she has her transfusions.
“So far there’s no match for her, we just have to hope one is found, but we know two people have been found to be a match for others because they had heard Chloe’s story.
“It makes you feel brilliant when you know it’s helped somebody else.
“We’ve had a huge response from people registering and we need that to keep going.
“We hope the day down at The Bridges will be another success, because last time we got around 300 names.
“I think people think it’s going to be scary and there will be needles involved all sorts, but it just takes five minutes, the same it would take a kettle to boil, and could save someone’s life.”
Tuesday’s event will run from 9am to 5.30pm.
People can also sign up by filling in a form online, with a swab then sent out through the post for them to complete.
For more details visit the Chloe’s DBA Fight #aheroforchloe Facebook page or via https://www.dkms.org.uk/