Global donor appeal by blood cancer charity DKMS is given a boost by Easter Ross girl; Coronavirus crisis sees overall slump in donors and setbacks for people awaiting life-changing transplants
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THE Easter Ross mum of a little girl with an extremely rare form of blood cancer has urged life-saving donors to help others.
Steph Davidson is backing an appeal by blood cancer charity DKMS which wants people to sign up for a worldwide register of potential blood stem cell donors.
Her daughter Adeline (4) is awaiting a blood stem cell donation from a stranger and has endured many "false starts" as a result of the coronavirus crisis.
Ms Davidson, who lives in Alness, is backing the DKMS campaign at a time when UK-wide registrations have dropped28 per cent.
Big-hearted Highlanders have bucked that trend with an increase in registrations during the pandemic.
With no match within her family, a blood stem cell donation from a stranger is Adeline’s best chance of survival.
The plucky girl, who has missed out on her first year at nursery and gone through painful and invasive treatment over the last year, has got a date for her transplant next month – but plans are subject to change at short notice.
Her mum said: “She’s such a sweet and friendly little girl, so confident and the best big sister to her little brother and sister. It’s just felt like the world has been against us this past year with so many treatments, needles and false starts. We are so incredibly grateful to this stranger, who could be anywhere in the world. I want to give them the biggest hug in the world. I can’t begin to imagine how awful it is for other families who have a loved one in need of a lifesaving transplant where no match has been found.
"As a parent it makes you feel so powerless being unable to protect your child. Anyone who is healthy and able to register, please, please do. It’s such a small commitment for you and could give someone a second chance at life – Adeline’s not even had a chance to start hers and we were so close to it being taken away from her. ”
The pandemic has had a destructive impact on people with blood cancer. As well as a drop in the number of donor registrations, fewer people are visiting the GP with cancer symptoms and hospital appointments and treatments are being postponed. DKMS expects to see a surge in blood cancer diagnoses and increased demand for blood stem cell donors, making it important to register now.
Jonathan Pearce, chief executive of DKMS UK, said: “Hearing the stories of people like Adeline shows why people registering as blood stem cell donors is so important. With the shocking drop in registrations over the last 10 months we are calling on Scots to save the love of someone else’s life. We want every worried family to get the reassuring call that a match for their loved one has been found. If you’re inspired by Adeline’s story, please register as a stem cell donor.”
Register online at dkms.org.uk.