A POLICING family is urging fellow officers to sign on to the bone marrow register.
Joseph, who is now two years old, has infant acute lymphoblastic leukaemia – a rare form of cancer affecting only 25 infants a year.
Joseph went through gruelling chemotherapy and is now on the road to recovery.
But his parents Celine and Steven Bowen, of Gosport, who work for Hampshire Constabulary, are urging officers to sign up as bone marrow donors.
The force is working with blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan to recruit police officers as bone marrow donors.
Celine said: ‘Joseph responded well to treatment which meant there has, so far, been no requirement for a stem cell or bone marrow transplant.
‘However, we have been warned that there is a 50 per cent probability of relapse over the next two years.
‘If faced with this prospect, there will be no alternative but for him to receive a bone marrow transplant.
‘Being part of a large organisation, full of young and healthy individuals, Steven and I felt it only right we do what we can to help raise awareness and encourage our colleagues to join the register.
‘It may be that, one day, we will be calling on one of them to help save our little boy’s life.’
Three events so far have seen 69 police officers and staff sign up to the register, which then matches potential bone marrow donors to blood cancer patients in need of a bone marrow transplant.
Karen Archer, regional recruitment manager at Anthony Nolan, said: ‘It’s amazing to see the Bowen family and Hampshire police supporting the drive to get fit, young men signed up as bone marrow donors.
‘We can still only find a suitable donor for half of people in need of a potentially lifesaving bone marrow transplant.
‘Many people don’t realise how simple becoming a donor is, so we urge everyone to find out more and join the register.’
WHICH STATIONS ARE TAKING PART IN THE DRIVE
HERE is a list of police stations in the Portsmouth area taking part in the bone marrow drive.
The Bowen family is urging officers to sign up to the Anthony Nolan register at the following locations:
· Havant Police Station, Civic Centre Road, on July 10.
· Portsmouth Central Station, Winston Churchill Avenue, on July 10.
· Fareham Police Station, Quay Street, on August 20.
· Gosport Police Station, South Cross Street, on August 20.