Antonio (Tony) Ferreira, 40, was diagnosed with Sézary syndrome (SS) in 2017. This rare form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma starts when certain white blood cells become cancerous and aggressively affect the skin.
Tony was told by his doctors that his best hope of survival was a matching blood stem cell transplant.
Prior to falling ill, Tony lived a happy life working as a gardener on Jersey where he lives with wife Osvalda and their daughter. Tony’s four siblings were checked to see if they were a match for him, but unfortunately, none were. Tony now has to rely on the kindness of a stranger to give him a second chance of life.
Originally from Madeira, Tony’s Portuguese heritage makes it more difficult for him to find a matching blood stem cell donor. White northern European blood cancer patients have a 69 percent chance of finding a stem cell match from a stranger. But this drops to just 20 percent for those of black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds.
Tony’s diagnosis means that he has to travel from his home to London on a fortnightly basis for specialist treatment. His case has become even more acute since the Covid-19 pandemic, as he is unable to travel to London for ongoing treatment.
Sadly, for thousands of patients, cancer doesn’t ease up – not even during a pandemic. However, you can safely help Antonio and others like him by simply ordering your home swab kit today.
It costs us £40 to register a new donor on the UK stem cell registry. As a charity, we rely on monetary donations from the public to help cover this cost and greatly appreciate any contribution, no matter how big or small.
If you are unable to register as a potential donor, we would be very grateful if you could consider making a contribution towards the cost of a registration.