“All I want for Father’s Day is for my daughter to find a donor”

15 June 2018

Craig, 34, from Sunderland will celebrate this Father’s Day much the same as he has the past eight years - caring for his daughter, Chloe, who has a rare blood disorder.

While in her mum’s womb doctors detected Chloe was anaemic. Shortly after she was born doctors officially diagnosed her with Diamond Blackfan Anaemia - a rare bone marrow failure disorder.

It means she fails to produce red blood cells properly and as a result the eight-year-old has to have blood transfusions every four weeks.

Chloe and Craig at the Sunderland Royal Hospital

She’s amazing

Doting father of four, Craig, has been inspired by Chloe’s positivity. She has remained cheerful despite receiving regular blood transfusions and fighting liver cirrhosis.

Craig said: “Chloe has hypermobility problems and when she was younger she was given a walking stick to help her walk. Doctors told us she wouldn’t walk until she was about 10 years old.

“To everyone’s surprise, when she was about two years-old, she started walking by herself the day before her mum and I got married. On our actual wedding day she walked unassisted down the aisle. She never ceases to amaze us."

Little Chloe Gray

A Father’s Day wish

A blood stem cell donation from a genetically similar person is Chloe's best chance of survival. Only one in three people in need of a transplant will find a matching donor in their own family.

Unfortunately, Chloe’s parents and siblings were not a match, so the family has been trying to find a matching stem cell donor from a stranger.

Craig said: “The best Father’s Day gift for me would be for Chloe to get back to her full health. That is only possible if we find a matching blood stem cell donor from a stranger, so I’m especially calling on other dads at this time of year to help this dad.”

Happy Father's Day picture from Chloe to her dad

Father like son

Craig’s own father, Graeme, helped save the life of an Australian woman diagnosed with leukaemia in 2003.

Graeme said: “Father’s Day is an excellent time for dads to register as a potential lifesaver with DKMS. I know just how important it is to register and be a lifesaver as I donated my blood stem cells to a lady from Sydney.

“This helped her win the fight against blood cancer following a successful blood stem cell transplant. The ironic thing was the donation happened on my own father’s birthday.

How you can help

If you’d like to register as a potential blood stem cell donor you can check your eligibility and sign up today. Anyone aged between 17-55 and in general good health can go on standby as a potential lifesaver.

If you’re not eligible or you’re already registered, why not check the other ways to get involved in the fight against blood cancer or help us cover donor registration costs?