Family Story

Remembering Ozzie

County Derry family organise registration drive in loving memory of their stem cell recipient son.


County Derry family organise registration drive in loving memory of their stem cell recipient son.

“The extra time we had with him was all possible due to his donor and we are extremely grateful,” Ozzie’s mum Miranda. Ozzie Rogers, from Magherafelt, County Derry was 15 when he was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia. He went through chemotherapy but needed a stem cell transplant. None of his family was a match for him, so the global registry was searched. Two potential matches were found, and just before his 16th birthday Ozzie received his new stem cells from an anonymous donor. Ozzie lived and thrived a further 18 months, until sadly he relapsed and passed away in September 2020, aged 17.

This month, Ozzie would have been turning 21 and his family organised a stem cell donor registration drive in his memory in their home town on 12 May. They successfully registered 51 new potential life-savers, and raised over £440 to support DKMS’ work.

Offering a second chance at life

Ozzie’s mum Miranda says, “Stem cell donation can potentially save the life of someone with a blood cancer. A few minutes of your time could provide a second chance at life to someone suffering from blood cancer or a blood disorder.

“I would like to thank DKMS UK for supporting Ozzie's memorial stem cell drive. The day was a steady trickle of willing potential life savers and I am extremely grateful for them turning up. I would also like to thank my friends that gave up their time to help. We were well looked after by local donations of tea/coffee sandwiches and tray bakes. I look forward to supporting DKMS UK in the future.”

Northern Ireland steps up

This event, along with other recent and upcoming stem cell donor registration drives across Northern Ireland reinforces how positively local communities based there are responding to the urgent need for more people of all backgrounds to sign up.

Every 20 minutes, someone in the UK is diagnosed with blood cancer and for many of them, their only hope of a second chance at life is a stem cell transplant. DKMS spokesperson Rebecca Mitton said: “We are so proud to have joined Ozzie’s family in remembering him. Their support offers hope to people waiting to find their stem cell match.”

Get involved

You too can join the worldwide chain of hope for those in need of a stem cell transplant by joining the register online here. Together, we can delete blood cancer.

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