15 Dec Stars Back Christmas Plea To Find Blood Stem Cell Donor For Local Man
Celebrities from the world of TV, film, sport and reality stars have supported the #IansArmy campaign to find a blood stem cell donor for Ian Witham and other people in his situation.
Father of three and a man with a big heart Ian, 42, from Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire was diagnosed with an aggressive form of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in September this year and now the hunt is on to find his lifesaver.
Footballers past and present of Ian’s favourite football club Arsenal have been showing their support including; Jack Wilshere, Ray Parlour as well as Ray Winstone, Jamie Redknapp, James Corden, Rio Ferdinand, Teddy Sherringham, Holly Willoughby, Abbey Clancy, Tamar Hassan, Olly Murs, Anthony Ogogo and Tamzin Outhwaite to name a few.
A blood stem cell donor is urgently needed
Ian’s condition is particularly rare with only about 650 people diagnosed with the condition each year in the UK.
Every 20 minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with a blood cancer such as leukaemia. It is the third most common cause of cancer death in the UK.
However, less than half of the UK population are aware of blood cancer issues and 83% don’t know that a simple cheek swab is all it takes to register as a potential blood stem cell donor.
A blood stem cell donation from a genetically similar person can often be the best hope of survival for people fighting a blood cancer or a blood disorder. Ian’s sisters have both been tested but were not a match, so he is relying on finding a match from an unrelated donor.
If you are aged 17-55 years old and in good general health you can register for your home swab kit.