YOU have the potential to save little George O’Shaughnessy’s life by joining the bone marrow register.
The News has joined up with charity Anthony Nolan to get more people on its donor list.
We were inspired by the story of three-year-old George who is in hospital battling leukaemia for the second time.
The Portsmouth toddler is awaiting a transplant and in December his parents Amy and Craig called on people to join the bone marrow donor register. So, to help boost donors we have organised an event tomorrow at 1000 Lakeside, North Harbour, Cosham, at which people can register to become a donor for Anthony Nolan.
The charity, which accepts donations from 16 to 30-year-olds, supports families, funds research and encourages people to join the register.
At the event, people wanting to sign up have to answer some brief medical questions and give a saliva sample which is then sent off.
Editor of The News, Mark Waldron said: ‘We wanted to show our support to children like George and others who are in need of a bone marrow transplant.
‘Working alongside Anthony Nolan is a great opportunity for us to encourage people to sign up and raise awareness for how important bone marrow donors are.’
As previously reported in The News, George’s cancer returned in October last year, 19 months after he was placed in remission.
He is being treated at Southampton General Hospital and has had numerous blood transfusions. It is hoped he will have a transplant in the next few weeks.
Mum Amy, from Baffins, said the family wanted to encourage as many people to sign up and welcomed the event.
Will Guest, regional register development manager, at Anthony Nolan, said: ‘Around 2,000 people in the UK need a bone marrow or stem cell transplant each year.
‘Every person who joins our register has the potential to save the life of someone like George.
‘Recruitment events like this are hugely important to helping us meet our goal of finding a match for everyone who needs a transplant.’
The event is in the atrium of 1000 Lakeside between 11am and 2pm tomorrow.
For more information on the event email our health reporter Ellie Pilmoor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the charity visit anthonynolan.org.
HOW TO BECOME A DONOR
THE first stage of registering to become a bone marrow donor is providing a saliva sample at recruitment events.
Tomorrow, The News and charity Anthony Nolan are holding an event where people can sign up to the register.
On the day, a person has to answer some medical questions and provide the sample.
After this, 10 per cent of people will be asked for a further blood test to see if they are eligible.
Only one per cent of people are then asked to become a donor – and they could save someone’s life.
Bone marrow transplants can happen in two ways.
n Donating through blood: Four injections are given prior to the transplant to help stimulate stem cells.
Then, blood is taken from your arm in a four to five-hour session at a hospital.
After the donation, you will experience flu-like symptoms which should pass after a few days. Rest is recommended.
Nearly 90 per cent of all donations are done this way.
n Donating through bone marrow: An operation is needed to donate through bone marrow. While under general anaesthetic, two needles are inserted into your pelvis to extract bone marrow.
You stay overnight after the operation and spend a further night in the hospital before going home the next day.
As well as pain where the needles are inserted, donors will also feel general tiredness. It is recommended you take seven days off work.
Only 10 per cent of all donations are done this way.