Daniel Greer: After a family appeal, more than 8,000 people have registered as donors

According to an international charity that helps people with blood cancer, around 8,800 people hail from Northern who have signed up as potential stem-cell donors within the last week.

Daniel Greer: After a family appeal, more than 8,000 people have registered as donors

According to an international charity that helps people with blood cancer, around 8,800 people hail from Northern who have signed up as potential stem-cell donors within the last week.

According to DKMS, it receives between five and ten people per week who register as donors.

After an appeal by a Northern Ireland family requesting a bone-marrow transplant for their son with acute myeloidleukaemia, DKMS has seen an "incredible surge" in people signing up to be a donor.

Newry teen Daniel Greer complained of neck and back pains four weeks ago.

His parents took him to the GP, and after blood tests, he received a diagnosis of leukaemia.

Reshna Radiven (head of communications and engagement at DKMS) stated that there has been an amazing spike in registrations from Northern Ireland due to the Greer family sharing Daniel’s story.

"We've seen 88226 stem cell donation registrations in one week, as opposed to the typical week with five to ten registrations from Northern Ireland.

"We encourage everyone who has registered to return their home swabbing tool as soon as possible.

"We know that 18- to 30-year-old men are often chosen as the first donor choice. We encourage anyone in this age group to register.

"We were touched by Daniel's story. He is young and it is upsetting, but there is a chance for him to lead a normal life once again if we find a matching donor."

This week, the Newry Reporter first reported on the spike in registrations.

Source: NHS

Anne, Daniel's mother, stated that she wasn't "willing to wait and watch" for the right match.

Anne said that it was like being awakened in a nightmare.

"To hear that your child has a potentially fatal disease, and you're looking at a boy who loves to swim, dive, kayak, ski, and rugby, and you're sitting there thinking, 'they've got this wrong.

Greer's family is appealing to donors to sign up.

Daniel has had numerous platelet and blood transfusions.

Anne said, "It is emotional. It is really difficult to see your child sick and feel like you can't help him."

"I appeal to anyone who is eligible to sign up for the bone marrow registry. If you aren't eligible for any reason, even ordinary blood donors or platelet donations, please do so.

"The blood and platelet donors are so great, Daniel has already been in hospital for 4 weeks in isolation, with no outdoor life or fresh air. That's tough going for a fourteen-year-old!"

Bone marrow refers to the soft, spongy tissue that is located in the middle of certain bones and where blood stem cells reside.

All your blood stem cells are responsible for producing all essential blood cells such as red blood cell to carry oxygen and white blood cell to fight infection.

Leukemia and other diseases can cause bone marrow to stop working as it should.

The best chance of recovery for these patients is a bone marrow donation.

According to Anthony Nolan, a stem cell donor charity, more than 2,000 people in Britain are in need of a stem cell or bone marrow transplant each year.

It said that 75% of UK patients won't find a match donor in their family and would need an unrelated donor.

A simple cheek swab is all it takes to become a donor. The results are kept on a registry.

Stem cells are obtained from 90% of donors' bloodstreams. 10% stem cells are extracted from the bone marrow of donors and require a surgical procedure.

Daniel completed 10 days of intensive chemotherapy. His family hopes that a match for a donor will be found.

James, his older brother, said that Daniel is a man who never gives up and doesn't back down.

"He is fighting through it like a little fighter he was always."

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