Luke, 20, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) in October 2018, the day before his 18th birthday.
Luke underwent six months of intensive treatment and entered nine months of remission.
Devastatingly, last February, the apprentice mechanic relapsed with an optic neuropathy – damage to the optic nerve – which led to the loss of sight in his right eye and was given a 30 per cent chance of survival from ALL.
Doctors decided that he urgently needed a blood stem cell transplant. Unfortunately, only one in three people with blood cancer, and in need of a transplant, will find a matching blood stem cell donor within their own family.
Luke’s sister was checked but sadly wasn’t a matching blood stem cell donor for him. This meant Luke joined over 2,000 people in the UK each year, left searching for an unrelated blood stem cell donor.
Luke teamed up with DKMS, and his appeal touched the hearts of the British public. We shared his story in the press, and on social media, inspiring over 3,000 people to join the register.
Following the global search, Luke received his blood stem cell transplant last October after a stranger in Germany came forward and kindly gave him a second chance of life.
Luke’s dad Paul said: “We want to thank all blood stem cell donors. Not only are they helping patients like my boy Luke, but they’re helping families too."
Paul has confirmed that Luke is currently cancer free and added: “There’s still a long way to go before he gets back to his pre-cancer levels, but regular bone marrow biopsies and blood tests have shown that he is still currently cancer free.
“Luke is fast approaching his 200 day milestone and we know the situation could have been very different had it not been for his one in a million blood stem cell donor. All we know about the selfless stranger is that he is a man based in Germany. We thank him with all our heart.”
We need blood stem cell donors from all backgrounds. If you are aged between 17-55 and in good general health, you can support the other 2,000 people in the UK in need of a lifesaving blood stem cell transplant by registering online at www.dkms.org.uk/register-now for your home swab kit.