Be a bone marrow donor - urgent plea

A LEADING Suffolk businessman is spearheading an appeal to help find the one suitable donor among millions of people who could save the life of a family friend diagnosed with a fatal bone marrow disease at 32.

A LEADING Suffolk businessman is spearheading an appeal to help find the one suitable donor among millions of people who could save the life of a family friend diagnosed with a fatal bone marrow disease at 32.

Robert Williams, whose father Alfred set up the large local employer John Rannoch's food group in the 1930s, is hoping to persuade people to try and save the life of Julia Hember.

Mr Williams, chairman of the company until the summer when there was a management buy-out of part of the business, is urging staff to consider helping. The firm, based at Haughley Park, employs 800 people.

Mr Williams said: "There are not many opportunities to save a life these days, but this is one and it costs you nothing but a little time and, if you are called on, a little discomfort for a few days.


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"Julia has leukemia. She is the daughter of a friend of mine who is asking us to help recruit donors for her or others because we are a large group of people, many in the right age range of 18 to 40.

"The chances of finding someone for Julia are remote, but we may help others too.''

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Julia Hember, a photographer who works in London and was diagnosed with myelodysplasia in June, said: "Worldwide, four million people are already registered, but I have no match yet. Every new volunteer raises new hope, for me and for the many others who need marrow donors.

Being registered means you may be called on in the future and asked to donate stem cells or bone marrow, although the odds are against it.

Founded in 1974 as the first register of volunteers willing to donate bone marrow in circumstances where a match cannot be found within a patient's family, The Anthony Nolan Trust holds one of the largest databases of unrelated donors in the world.

WEBLINK

www.anthonynolan.org.uk

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