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MP appeals for stem cell donors to "register for Richie"


Formby residents could turn life savers as the stem cell register donor drive comes to the town.


Sefton Central MP Bill Esterson will join Stem Cell Scousers campaigner Kevin Dunne at the Tesco store in Formby on Saturday May 26th to encourage people to sign up to the register.


With a simple mouth swab, volunteers’ details are collected and stored on the register and could potentially be matched with patients worldwide who would benefit from a stem cell transplant. Mr Esterson joined the register at a similar drive last month in Crosby.


The MP said: “You could spend a few minutes signing up to the register and it could lead to you saving a life. Registering is simple and Kevin tells me donating stem cells is not painful. Kevin is an inspiration in setting up these donor drives purely voluntarily. He has donated stem cells himself to his brother and his wife has also benefited from the treatment.

“I would urge people to please come along in support of this event as it really could be life changing.”


Stem cell transplants can cure some types of blood cancer such as leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. Stem cells are very early blood cells in the bone marrow that develop into red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.


Although donors could be potentially matched with cancer patients around the world, the Stem Cell Scousers group, which is led by Mr Dunne and tweets under the hashtag #stemcellscousers, are currently focusing their campaign on finding a match for Kirkby father of two Richie Bollard.


Richie has been hospitalised since November 2017 with a very rare and aggressive blood disorder called Haemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis ( HLH ). Usually only one adult a year in England is diagnosed with this as it usually only affects young children.


Richie’s only chance of survival is a stem cell transplant.


The donor drive will take place at Tesco in Formby on Saturday May 26 from 10am until 4pm and is open to all aged 17 to 55 and involves a simple mouth swab.


For more information visit DKMS.org or see the #stemcellscousers and #Register4Richie hashtags on Twitter.


Kevin said: “There is a big myth that stem cell donation is really painful and involves invasive surgery and a few days in hospital. I donated for my own brother Tony and I can say that is Definitely not the case. It’s half a day connected to a machine like having kidney dialysis.


“The machine takes small amounts of blood, extracts the stem cells and passes your blood back to you on a continuing cycle and you get up and walk away.”


Kevin is appealing for more volunteers to join the #STEMCELLSCOUSERS group to enable him to carry out more donor drives and save more lives. If you can spare only three hours per month please contact Kevin at kevindunne2@googlemail.com

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