9 July 2018
A mother is on a mission to raise awareness of the need for more potential blood stem cell donors to help the fight against blood cancer – following her son’s own battle with leukaemia.
Gail Wilson hosted not one but two #LetsNailBloodCancer parties on 4 July, at The Fox Pub, Farnham, and another at her home on 6 July.
Together the events raised nearly £800 which will help us register potential donors onto the UK Aligned Stem Cell Registry. Gail was passionate to support us after her son, Scott, was diagnosed at the age of four, with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in August 2016.
Gail said: “Thank you to everyone who supported my #LetsNailBloodCancer parties, especially my two friends who did the treatments. I’ve been really encouraged by people’s willingness to help and attend. Local businesses have really got behind it because it’s a little bit different. It’s such a good idea to get people together and do it for a good cause.”
Scott’s Fight Against Blood Cancer
Scott, now 6, received numerous blood and platelet transfusions, as well as several rounds of high level chemotherapy. Thankfully, he went into remission in October 2016 and was able to start school last year.
Scott has to go for regular check-ups at hospital and is still on a number of different medications. He often has to undergo a lumbar puncture procedure to make sure that the cancer hasn’t spread.
Gail said: “It all happened so quickly and just came out of nowhere. It was the school holidays and Scott had been to a swimming lesson. That evening I noticed a rash on his stomach and immediately panicked, thinking it was meningitis. The glass test ruled that out. The next day he was crying and complaining about a pain under his armpit, so we rushed him to A&E at Frimley Park Hospital.
“After many tests Scott was diagnosed with leukaemia and he was automatically transferred to the Royal Marsden Hospital to start treatment. It was a completely new world for us, with new information, terminology and procedures – nothing we had ever experienced before. I had prepared myself for the worst – but you just can’t prepare yourself for something like this.”
Gail said: “We were told if Scott comes out of remission then there could be a possibility that he may one day need to find a matching blood stem cell donor. Everyone seems to be aware of blood donation and organ donation but there is a lack of awareness around blood stem cell donation.
“Even if Scott doesn’t need a transplant, so many people do. I can’t imagine as a family going through the wait of trying to find out if you do have a match. So the more people who register the more likelihood you have of finding a matching donor.”
How you can help
Caroline Richardson said: “A huge thank you to Gail and friends for taking part in #LetsNailBloodCancer. It’s thanks to people like Gail, who raise vital funds, that we can help find potential lifesavers for those in need and provide people with a second chance at life.
“We’re delighted to have partnered with Barry M for this campaign, and would encourage everyone to get their mitts on our kits and help support us.”
Interested in lending a hand in the fight against blood cancer? Find out how you can host a #LetsNailBloodCancer mani-pedicure party and raise funds to help register more potential life-saving blood stem cell donors.
Taking part is easy – and fun! Together, #LetsNailBloodCancer.