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Formby's Kevin Dunne gets support from MP with Donor Drive for Stem Cell Scousers


Sefton Central MP Bill Esterson has vowed to join the stem cell donor register in a bid to raise awareness for this life-saving act.


The MP says he will be “first in the queue” at a donor drive organised by the Stem Cell Scousers (#StemCellScousers) group at Tesco in Formby on Saturday, May 26, and he will encourage other North West MPs to sign up too.


The MP met with #StemCellScousers founder Kevin Dunne from Formby to hear about stem cell donation and how it can transform lives. Kevin’s wife received a stem cell transplant from an anonymous donor after she developed leukaemia four years ago, and just months later Kevin’s brother was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder and Kevin was able to donate his own stem cells to save his life.


Kevin is now heavily involved in the search to find a stem cell donor for Kirkby man Richie Bollard, a 32 year old dad of two who has a rare and aggressive blood disorder called HLH. The only cure is a stem cell transplant but a search for a match has been unsuccessful so far.


Mr Esterson said: “It was inspiring to meet Kevin whose life has been impacted enormously by stem cell transplants and who now works tirelessly to try to save the lives of others. My heart goes out to Richie and his family and I will certainly do all I can to help their search for a donor."


“Tesco in Formby have kindly agreed to donate space to the group for them to run a donor drive and I’ll be first in the queue to get my details added to the register.”


Kevin said: “Richie has a very complex ancestry: Irish, English, Caribbean, Spanish, Indian and Asian. There are no matches on the worldwide register and there is a massive shortage of registered donors from these ethnicities and particularly from mixed race groups."


“Only one per cent of the eligible adult worldwide population are registered as stem cell donors. Last year 2,400 UK patients needed a stem cell transplant but sadly only 1,200 managed to find that lifesaving donor."


“World Blood Cancer day is Monday May 28th so we thought Saturday May 26th would be a good day to do something to get the maximum publicity for a donor drive. Thank you to Tesco in Formby for offering us space to do that. We would encourage as many people as possible to come along and potentially get the chance to save a life.”


#StemCellScousers have launched a media campaign using the hashtag #Register4Richie which has been retweeted worldwide. They also raise money to help fund the costs involved in adding potential donors to the register – there is no NHS funding for this and it costs £60 per donor.


Joining the register involves a simple non-invasive swab test and can be done in a matter of minutes. Donors must be aged between 17 and 55.


For more information visit dkms.org.uk or to enquire about becoming a Stem Cell Scousers volunteer, call Kevin on tel: 07837 732215

STEMCELLLSCOUSERS are being held back by a shortage of VOLUNTEERS and are appealing for anyone who's been touched by BLOOD CANCER or has spare time and wants to give something back FOR ONLY 3 or 4 hours per month can contact Kevin by email kevindunne2@googlemail.com or by messaging on Twitter #STEMCELLSCOUSERS


Top Pic shows: MP Bill Esterson (Left) with campaigner Kevin Dunne​

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