Could you help save the life of a fellow Rhinos fan?
Leeds Rhinos fan Peter McCleave needs your help this Friday night
It’s a life-threatening illness which threatens the future of a 40-year-old father of two…but there’s a chance you could help save his life.
At this Friday’s game against Warrington Wolves, we are being visited by DKMS, the charity set up to fight against blood cancers. Attending the game will be Leeds Rhinos fan Peter McCleave who has multiple myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells.
Peter, who is a father to young sons Max and Seb, needs to find a matching donor to help him battle the illness and potentially save his life.
“I have a wife and two kids and I’m only 40-years-old,” he said. “We need people to do it because I’m looking for a donor. By doing it you are looking at saving other people as well – just being on the register will help hundreds and thousands of people.”
Fitness fanatic Pete, who now lives in Cheshire, is no stranger to a challenge – he’s completed ‘Tough Mudder’ courses and the notorious ‘Iron Man’ triathlon race – but this battle is proving his biggest challenge yet.
It was not long after he’d completed the mammoth Iron Man race that his diagnosis came in June last year. “It came as a shock,” he said. “It was very out of the blue. Ideally we need a donor who will donate stem cells. That’s why we are now having a bit of a push.
“I think it needs to be more broadly appreciated, it’s such a simple thing to do, it’s quite a non-invasive procedure, but it can save lives.”
His biggest wish is to be able to see his young boys Max and Seb grow up, but is relying on finding a match for that to happen. Pete’s father, Mike McCleave, added: “The idea of the day is we are asking as many people as possible to give a two minute swab in their mouth. Hopefully we will then find a match. If we can get a match there is a good chance his life will be prolonged.”
Myeloma is a type of cancer that develops from cells in the bone marrow called plasma cells. Bone marrow is the spongy tissue found inside the inner part of some of our large bones. The bone marrow produces different types of blood cells. Myeloma can develop wherever there are plasma cells. So it can be anywhere there is bone marrow, including the pelvis, spine and ribcage. As it can occur in several places in the body, it is often called multiple myeloma.
The team from DKMS will be stationed under the cricket West Stand on Amber Avenue before Friday’s game if you can spare two minutes to have the swab and go on the database that could mean you help save someone’s life. Please note this is inside the ground therefore you must have a ticket for the game to take part in the test. If you are not coming to the game, don’t worry click on the link at the bottom of this article to find out how you can register with DKMS.
Every 20 minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with a blood cancer, such as leukaemia. Every year, over 12,000 people die from blood cancers in the UK – making it the third most common cause of cancer death in the UK.
The global not-for-profit organisation started in Germany in 1991 and this year marks its fifth year anniversary in the UK. During this five-year period over 350,000 potential lifesavers have registered in the UK.
A blood stem cell donation is often the only chance of survival for many blood cancer and blood disorder patients. Sadly, many patients will not find a matching donor. This isn’t because a match doesn’t exist, it’s simply because there aren’t enough people registered as donors. That is why DKMS works to increase the size and diversity of the blood stem cell registry.
Anyone in the UK aged between 17 and 55 and in good general health can register with DKMS. To register, the charity asks potential blood stem cell donors to give consent and a two minute swab sample from the inside of their cheek.
The swab is analysed to establish tissue characteristics, with information added anonymously to the UK Stem Cell Registry. If the tissue type is matched to a patient now or in the future, around 90% of blood stem cell donations in the UK are collected via the blood stream. Around 10% of blood stem cell donations in the UK are made via a donation of bone marrow collected from the back of the pelvic bone.
If you would like to find out more information visit Pete’s blog at petermccleave.co.uk or visit the DKMS website at www.dkms.org.uk/en/missionlifesaver