The family of little Charlie Craig have urged the people of Mid-Ulster to come out and sign up as a bone marrow donor at a special registrations day on Saturday in Cookstown.
Charlie has been battling Acute Myeloid Leukaemia since January 2013. The aggressive disease is especially rare in children and requires specialist treatment. The specialist team requires a public donation to save Charlie’s life.
Charlie’s mum Cliodhna, originally from Cookstown and his dad Fintan are urging people to come along to the registration day or sign up online to help potentially save Charlie’s life.
They told the MAIL: “As a family we have been overwhelmed by the support to help find a bone marrow donor for our son Charlie. It has been heart breaking to read the newspaper headlines that my son needs someone to come forward to help save his life.
“Charlie is almost finished his second, planned, round of chemotherapy and although we have no control over anything we had hoped to be heading for Bristol in April with a suitable donor identified.
“The longer it takes to find a match the greater the risk of the disease coming back and Charlie needing more chemotherapy. This is something we pray, and believe, will not happen.
“However we remain very positive and trusting that a match will be found; the alternative does not bear thinking about.
Cliodhna continued: “We want to appeal to those eligible to register as a bone marrow donor NOW either online or by attending one of the registration events planned for Saturday 22nd March from 10am – 4pm in Holy Trinity College, Cookstown or Whitla Hall, Methodist College Belfast.”
If you are aged 16 – 30 you can register online at www.anthonynolan.org or if you are aged 18 – 55 you can register online at www.deletebloodcancer.org.uk
It couldn’t be easier, simply give a saliva sample. Registration will mean that you are listed on a global database so that the team in Bristol (who will carry out Charlie’s transplant) can search for a suitable match for Charlie and others like him.
If you are identified as a suitable match your bone marrow sample can, in the majority of cases, be taken via a process similar to giving blood or in some instances you may need to undergo general anaesthetic for a procedure for the bone marrow to be taken from the pelvis.
Charlie’s family are also fundraising for the charity - it costs £40 to sign each person up to the register so getting funds for them is just as vital. If you would like to donate you can do so online at their Just Giving page: justgiving.com/Kelly Eastwood
If you want to find out more please search for Charlie Craig Bone Marrow Donate Now Campaign on Facebook.