Ipswich: Brave Jack salutes the ‘superheroes’ who donate blood and bone marrow to save lives

Brave Jack asks you to be a superhero

A BRAVE 11-year-old boy, who is currently recovering from his second bone marrow transplant, is today encouraging people to donate blood.

Jack Driver, who suffers from a rare disorder which attacks his immune system, said those who donate blood or bone marrow are “heroes”.

The former Sidegate Lane pupil had his first transplant at Bristol Hospital for Children back in August 2010, but after his body failed to accept the bone marrow he fell seriously ill.

Today, Jack is recovering after having his second bone marrow transplant in little more than two years.

He said: “Donate blood and you will be a hero, donate bone marrow and you will be a superhero.”

Jack, of Beverley Road, Ipswich, has been battling aplastic anaemia – a condition where the bone marrow does not produce sufficient new cells to replenish the blood cells.

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Jack was diagnosed with the condition in May 2008, when he was seven, and since then his trips to hospital for blood tests and transfusions have become normality.

His mum, Helen, told the Ipswich Star she was “incredibly proud” of her son.

“I really don’t know how he does it,” she said. “He is at home now recovering and he is having tests because his blood count after the transplant hasn’t been as high as they would have wanted.

“He has such a positive outlook on things. Obviously there are times when it’s hard for him, but I guess after five years we have got used to it all. He does have times when things get very tough but we get through them.

“I would really encourage people to donate blood because they are saving lives by doing so. We don’t know what would have happened if Jack wasn’t given blood so many times. People that donate are really special people.”

Jack has been given more than 1,600 Beads of Courage from Essex-based charity Be Child Cancer Aware, which offers support to children fighting serious illnesses. The beads mark all of his trips to the hospital for procedures including blood tests and transfusions.

“I think when he looks at the beads it puts everything into perspective for him,” she said. “It shows his journey and what he’s going through.”

Jack attends East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices Treehouse Hospice in St Augustine’s Gardens for respite care. He hopes to be able to start Northgate High School next year.

For more information visit www.bechildcanceraware.org or www.facebook.com/bechildcanceraware

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