Search for lifesavers in Josie's home town

Charity bosses are urging friends and neighbours inspired by the courage of Josie Grove to become lifesavers in her honour.

Charity bosses are urging friends and neighbours inspired by the courage of Josie Grove to become lifesavers in her honour.

The 16-year-old, of Princes Street, Corbridge, Northumberland, touched the nation after taking the heart-rending decision to forego any further leukaemia treatment to enjoy her remaining time at her home.

She died surrounded by her loved ones in February, but her family are continuing her remarkable legacy.

Now people living in her home town are being urged to attend a bone marrow clinic at Corbridge Parish Hall tomorrow (Friday) and join the register in her memory.

The charismatic youngster had two unsuccessful bone marrow transplants, but despite their failure Josie's parents credit the operations with giving them precious extra years with their daughter.

Before her death Josie raised more than £20,000 to help others suffering from cancer, while generous Journal readers have now contributed more than £27,000 to the Josie Grove Leukaemia Fund.

From that fund her parents Cliff and Jacqui Grove have given the Anthony Nolan Trust £10,000 to pay for 143 people to join the Trust.

Their donation is paying for three clinics, the first of which was held at Newcastle's Theatre Royal last week.

The next one will be held between 4pm and 7pm tomorrow and organisers are hoping scores of her friends and neighbours will turn out to show their support.

The Trust's donor recruitment manager Nigel Gorvett said: "Hopefully this clinic will be bigger.

"It's difficult to say how many people will turn up, but because it's Josie's home town we are expecting a good response."

He added: "There are currently over 7,000 people in the UK who desperately need a bone marrow transplant and the only way to help them is by people coming along to these clinics and joining the register. If you are aged 18 to 40, I would urge you to come along to the clinic to find out how you can help to keep alive Josie's wishes of improving the quality of life of children suffering from leukaemia."

The Trust are also appealing for any qualified blood-takers, who would be able to help at the clinic, to call (0207) 284-1234.

Council staff inspired to do Blaydon Race

Staff from inspirational youngster Josie Grove's local council have donned their running shoes in her memory.

Workers from Tynedale Council have united to raise funds for The Journal's Josie Grove Leukaemia Fund after being moved by her story.

The 16-year-old, who died in February after a two-year battle with leukaemia, lived in the town of Corbridge and her campaign to raise funds affected many of the staff, some of whom live there. Now they are calling on friends and colleagues to support them as they bid to run Saturday's annual Blaydon Race in her honour.

The group are also helping to promote The Journal's campaign of encouraging more people to joined the bone marrow register in a bid to save other children suffering from the disease. Senior environmental health officer Jane Tait said: "Josie was a friend of my daughter Catherine and so I felt particularly motivated to do something positive in her memory.

"Her courage and bravery were so inspiring that I have felt quite humbled by her strength.

"This was the least I could do as a testament to her memory."

Also running is council chief executive Richard Robson, who said: "This is a great example of staff showing how they care about local people and local causes.

"We are very proud to be making such efforts for this important charity."

The team will join more than 4,000 runners in the annual 5.7 mile race on Saturday June 9 which sees both professional and amateur runners head down Newcastle's Scotswood Road before crossing the river.


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer