Football star Jimmy Dunne visits DKMS to help boost stem cell donor registrations by young men.
“It’s been a real eye-opener today, to see the amount of work that goes into giving someone a second chance at life. It puts football results into perspective for me.”
Jimmy Dunne, star defender for Queens Park Rangers (QPR) FC dropped in on DKMS’ offices in Chiswick, west London on 18 January, to find out more about our work to ensure that every blood cancer patient who needs a stem cell transplant gets a second chance at life.
Sadly Jimmy, who is also based in Chiswick, knows someone with blood cancer. He and QPR FC have been key supporters of DKMS’ work to encourage more people to sign up as potential stem cell donors, including choosing DKMS as their official ‘match day partners’ for a home match at Loftus Road stadium last December.
As he chatted to DKMS staff over a neighbourly cuppa, Jimmy heard how, every twenty minutes, someone in the UK is diagnosed with blood cancer, and the impact that waiting to find a stem cell match has for them and everyone who loves them.
Jimmy is especially keen to encourage more young men to join him in signing up to the DKMS stem cell register. So, he filmed a video showing how quick and easy it is to sign up, including completing the simple mouth swab kit that DKMS sends out free of charge.
He also met Peter McCleave, who needs a stem cell transplant and is still waiting to find a match following a life-altering diagnosis of myeloma. Peter has campaigned tirelessly to raise awareness of the need for more stem cell donors, in particular from minority ethnic backgrounds.
DKMS spokesperson Deborah Hyde said: “Everyone at DKMS loved meeting Jimmy – his keenness to learn about what we do, and his enthusiasm for ensuring more people with blood cancer get the stem cell transplants they need was so inspiring. Together we can delete blood cancer!”
It’s quick and easy to register with DKMS as a potential stem cell donor. Anyone aged 17—55 years who is in general good health can sign up to receive a simple mouth swab kit at dkms.org.uk/register.