A woman with leukaemia who needs a life-saving transplant has thanked our readers for their support.
Elle Roberts said the response has been “fantastic” since her appeal for people to sign up to the stem cell donor register appeared in our newspapers.
Elle, who was in remission after treatment for leukaemia until she was told earlier this year the cancer had returned, has now been told she needs a 10 out of 10 match but said readers sharing our story on social media has helped raise awareness.
She said many people have signed up to help through the website DKMS (Delete Blood Cancer) where you can ask for a kit to send a swab from your cheek. This simple method can be used to detect if you might be a match for Elle. You can be 55 or under to register through DKMS.
Stem cells are special cells produced by bone marrow (a spongy tissue found in the centre of some bones) that can turn into different types of blood cells.
A stem cell transplant involves destroying any unhealthy blood cells and replacing them with stem cells removed from the blood or bone marrow.
“I want to raise awareness of how simple it is to donate,” said Elle, 35.
“People see the words ‘bone marrow’ and think they have to donate bones but it’s not like that at all.
“If people donate it’s not just to help me, it’s to help others They could also give blood because that saves lives too.”
Elle has finished her first five-day course of chemotherapy treatment and was recovering ahead of a second course.
She was in good spirits when she spoke to us on Monday.
“I’m responding well to treatment because I’ve come into it well,” she said.
“That’s the difference to last time. It puts me in a better position.”
An awareness event will be held for Elle at The Sanctuary in the West End of Morecambe on March 29. To donate go to www.dkms.org.uk or www.anthonynolan.org .