Mum’s Appeal For Stem Cell Donors

21st July 2018

A mum from Jersey is pleading for islanders to become stem cell donors this weekend and possibly save her husband’s life.

Tony Ferreira needs a transplant from someone with the same tissue type, after being diagnosed with a rare form of blood cancer.

Anyone between 16 and 30 can sign up for the Anthony Nolan register between 10am and 6pm either today or tomorrow at St Thomas Church Welcome Centre.

Osvalda Ferreira is particularly keen for Jersey’s Portuguese community to come forward.

“There is more chance that the right person is in the Portuguese community. We appeal to everyone to become a stem cell donor but especially the Portuguese community, because there are so little of them on the registry.”

Since launching the #Match4Tony appeal, Jersey Friends of Anthony Nolan has discovered a second person who is also urgently looking for a donor. He is suffering aggressive leukemia.

Kaite Baigent (BAY-JUNT) from the charity says you could be the hero a family desperately needs.

“There are several thousand people in the UK waiting for a transplant. Unfortunately, not everybody has a sibling match. Only a third of people will have a match in their family.

“How often in your life do you get the chance to save somebody’s life? It really is as simple as that.”

What is involved:

  • People attending St Thomas’s Welcome Centre at the weekend will be asked to fill out a short medical form
  • They will have two simple ‘cheek swabs’ taken  – using what looks like a large cotton bud which is passed just inside both cheeks
  • This is then sent off to Anthony Nolan UK who test all the samples
  • Within around two weeks from it being received, people will receive an information pack and a card showing they’re part of the Anthony Nolan register
  • Every time someone needs a transplant, Anthony Nolan check the register (and others in the UK and worldwide) to try and find a match
  • If you are a potential match, the Charity will contact you directly and ask for a blood sample – which can be done at the General Hospital, in the newly refurbished Blood Donor Unit, which is soon to reopen, or by your GP
  • Depending on the blood test, there then follows a measured process, led by Anthony Nolan, by which you could be able to donate stem cells – and save someone’s life
  • As well as the Jersey Friends, Karen Archer – Regional Register Development Manager from Anthony Nolan – will be on hand at the weekend event to explain the whole process to anyone who has any queries
  • If you’re over 30 (and 55 or less), people can join the Delete Blood Cancer register – see: www.dkms.org.uk/en/register-now

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