A man from North London is appealing for people to register as potential blood stem cell donors with the charity DKMS to help save his mum’s life. The appeal is being made by Jonni Berger, whose mum Sharon needs to find a matching donor to treat her leukaemia. Sharon had a blood stem cell donation to treat leukaemia three years ago but relapsed a few weeks ago. Her doctors have told her that she needs another blood stem cell donation and a search has begun to find another donor for her.
For many with a blood cancer or blood disorder, a blood stem cell donation from another person is their only chance of survival. As Sharon is Jewish, those with a similar heritage are urged in particular to register, as this is likely to provide the most suitable match for her.
Sharon has had three wonderful years since the blood stem cell donation that she received from a stranger in 2013. She has been able to see her grandson grow from a toddler to start going to school and her daughter give birth to a baby girl, Sharon’s first granddaughter, a few months ago. Life was going very well and Sharon had only just had a celebration for her 65th birthday a few months ago. She now wants to see her two grandchildren grow up and celebrate her 70th birthday in five years’ time.
Appealing for people to register as potential blood stem cell donors to help find a matching donor for his mum, and anyone in need of a blood stem cell donation, Jonni Berger said: “The last three years have been wonderful for mum and the family. We have been able to share many special moments and fun times together. This is all down to the person who donated some of their blood stem cells to mum three years ago.
“We are shocked that she has relapsed and are appealing to people to register as potential blood stem cell donors to help find a match for mum, and anyone in need of a blood stem cell donation, so please, please take a few minutes out of your day and register as a potential blood stem cell donor.”
Emphasizing how important it is for people to register, Joe Hallett, donor recruitment manager at DKMS, said: “Registering as a potential blood stem cell donor only takes a few minutes but it could lead to you giving decades to someone else. It could lead to you saving Sharon’s life or the life of someone else in need of a blood stem cell donation for his or her survival. Please take the time to do it as it could be one of the most important things you ever do.”
Those aged 17 to 55 can register in five minutes online and request a cheek swab kit that will enable you to do your own tissue test to go on the database to maybe one day become a blood stem cell donor through the DKMS website: www.dkms.org.uk