West Sussex man with leukaemia makes urgent appeal for people to register as potential blood stem cell donors

A man from West Sussex with leukaemia is appealing for people to register as potential blood stem cell donors with the charity DKMS. The appeal is being made by 47 year old Shaun Graham, who urgently needs a donation of blood stem cells from someone with a matching tissue-type to his to treat his blood cancer, leukaemia. Unfortunately nobody with a matching tissue-type to his has been found yet, so he is urging people to register as potential blood stem cell donors to help find a donor for him and all those seeking matching donors.

Shaun, who is from Midhurst, was in good health until his life was turned upside down when he was diagnosed with leukaemia in March this year. Shaun, who is a father of two, loves life in the countryside and has worked at dairy farms for many years. He can often be found taking photos, walking, and travelling around the world. However, his life has been put on hold since his diagnosis.

As Shaun is adopted, he has no known biological siblings and is therefore reliant on finding an unrelated donor on the public registry of blood stem cell donors. For many blood cancer patients like Shaun, a blood stem cell donation is their only chance of survival but many patients in the UK never find the lifesaving blood stem cell donor match they need.

This isn’t because a match doesn’t exist, it’s simply because there aren’t enough people registered as donors. The charity says that the more people that register as potential donors, the greater the chances of finding matching donors for those in need of a blood stem cell donation. That is why DKMS works to increase the size and diversity of the registry.

Speaking about the appeal to find a matching blood stem cell donor for him, Shaun said: “I just want my life back. I know things won't exactly be as they were before, but to do the things I enjoy would be a step forward.

“Also, to see my kids grow up and to be there for them. Myself and Sarah, my partner, have so many things planned for the future. I want to be able to put those plans into reality.

“Not forgetting my dog Buddy, I want to be able to take him on those long walks I used to do with him.

“So please register as a potential donor, if not a match for myself, you may be for someone else and save a life. Thank you."

Emphasising how important it is for people to register, Lisa Nugent, donor recruitment manager at DKMS, said: “It will only take a few minutes of your time to register as a potential blood stem cell donor to find out if you are a match for Shaun or someone else in need of a blood stem cell donation. I would urge anyone aged 17 to 55 and in general good