The family of a teenager with leukemia have urged people to sign up to the stem cell register as a transplant is his only chance of survival.
The appeal for help from men aged 16 to 30 is being made by the family of 14-year-old Daniel Greer, from Newry, Co Down, who was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia two months ago.
Doctors have said her only chance of survival is with a stem cell donation that would help rebuild her immune system.
Daniel has been housed at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children since his diagnosis and is being treated with aggressive chemotherapy.
Young men account for more than half of all stem cell transplants for patients with blood cancer and blood disorders, but make up just 18% of the register, according to blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan, who is helping with the international appeal, called the DoItForDaniel Campaign.
His mother, Anne Greer, said: “Daniel is an amazing and brilliant young man who lights up any room he walks into.
“His wicked sense of humor keeps us going, even now while he’s in hospital getting chemotherapy.
“I know he is very proud that his story is inspiring people to sign up to the stem cell registry.
“These people will potentially help him, as well as many other people around the world who desperately need a stem cell transplant like Daniel.”
Daniel complained of back and neck pain before a series of blood tests confirmed his illness.
Aggressive chemotherapy is being used to put him into remission, so he may be able to get a transplant.
Only one in four people will find a match within their family. However, Daniel’s older brother James is not a match and therefore needs a stem cell transplant from an unrelated donor.
Hometown support so far has included Newry pharmacies encouraging people to sign up to the register.
There has also been a stem cell donation awareness campaign at Belfast International Airport.
Anthony Nolan chief executive Henny Braund said: “Finding his matching donor would mean everything to Daniel and his family. We are committed to supporting Daniel as he waits for news of the donor that could save his life .
“Last year, more than 1,300 people worldwide with blood cancer or a blood disorder were given a second chance at life because of the wonderful people who are on the Anthony Nolan register.
“But too many people, like Daniel, are told there is no donor like them.
“Signing up to the register is quick and easy, and we urge anyone in good general health, especially young people aged 16-30, to come forward and help save someone like Daniel’s life.” .
People aged 16-30 can go online to join the Anthony Nolan register.
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