Plea to readers to help save lives

Charity bosses have urged every Journal reader to continue inspirational Josie Grove's legacy by becoming a potential life-saver today.

Josie Grove with her baby brother Charlie

Charity bosses have urged every Journal reader to continue inspirational Josie Grove's legacy by becoming a potential life-saver today.

We are appealing to all our readers, aged between 18 and 40, to head to Newcastle's Theatre Royal today to join the bone marrow register in honour of the brave teenager, who lost her two-year battle with leukaemia in February.

The 16-year-old touched the heart of the nation after foregoing any further cancer treatment in order to enjoy her remaining time at home with her family.

And in that short time she raised tens of thousands of pounds to help hundreds of others affected by cancer.

Now her parents Cliff and Jacqui, both jewellery designers, have decided to donate £10,000 to the Anthony Nolan Trust in a bid to double the amount of people listed on the bone marrow register.

Yesterday charity area manager Peter Finnegan appealed for Journal readers to ensure the Grove's donation was a success by attending their session at the theatre today.

He said: "Josie really has left an incredibly important legacy and we hope people will come down in memory of her.

"Giving bone marrow is not the scary thing people think. It really is a very simple procedure."

Those who attend today's session, between 10am and noon, will fill in a medical questionnaire, before having a chat with an adviser who will explain the physical and mental undertaking. A small sample of blood will also be taken. Within a couple of weeks participants will be registered and be sent a unique donor number.

There are two ways to give bone marrow. The traditional method involves having bone marrow syringed from the top of the pelvic bone under general anaesthetic. There are no cuts and is very quick. The second - known as peripheral blood cell stem transplant or PBSC - involves having small injections of growth hormone, which causes the bone marrow to produce more stem cells.

Once the stem cells have built up they are naturally ejected into the bloodstream and can then be filtered out of the blood using a machine similar to that used in dialysis - taking it out of one arm and putting it straight back in after it the stem cells have been removed.

Sessions will also be held in Hexham and Corbridge.

 

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