Father's Day plea for islanders to join stem cell register to save Jersey dad

Islanders are being asked to join the stem cell register this Father's Day, to help find a match for a Jersey dad.

Tony Ferreira has been battling a rare form of blood cancer called Sézary Syndrome since 2017. 

From this time, we're told that Tony, his wife Osvalda and their daughter have had their lives dominated and overwhelmed by cancer.

The Anthony Nolan charity says his best chance of survival would be a stem cell transplant. 

Multiple public pleas and stem cell recruitment drives have taken place in the island over the years, which have been unsuccessful at finding Tony a match.

READ MORE: Search Continues To Find A Match For Tony

However, Tony and his family are not giving up hope. 

There is another appeal for islanders to come along to Springfield Stadium café on Sunday (16 June) between 10am and 4pm and sign up to the Anthony Nolan Stem Cell Register. 

To find a specific match for Tony, islanders between the ages of 16 and 30 and in good health are being asked to come forward. 

Those with Madeiran or Portuguese descent are also being targeted, as those with a similar ethnic background to Tony may are more likely to be successful matches. 

Tony and his wife Osvalda

Osvalda wants all islanders to sign up, even if they might not be a specific match for Tony: 

"Please do sign up. There is a lot of people who do not have the time to wait.  

"It is very easy to sign up online and they send you a swab kit.  You do it, and you can save a life.

"The waiting is something terrible to go through."

READ MORE: Jersey rugby players lead drive to recruit potential stem cell donors

Kate Baigent, from Jersey Friends of Anthony Nolan says signing up would mean so much to Tony and his family this Father's Day:

"It's particularly significant isn't it because this is a young father who has a daughter and they've lived their live with cancer for quite a few years now.

"It would be wonderful if we could find a complete cure for him which is a stem cell transplant."

Springfield Stadium 

Kate Baigent says the sign-up process for islanders to the stem cell register is very straightforward: 

"We're really hoping people will come along, it's quite a short process. 

"You fill in a form on your phone, so do bring your phones, then you do a cheek swab and that's it.

"That information will be put on the register, it doesn't mean necessarily you will give your stem cells but it is there for doctors to search and hopefully find matches."

If you can't attend the Father's Day stem cell event but would still like to join the register, you can sign on Anthony Nolan's website

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