Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting ECS to 80360, or email »
Can you help Rob?
THE FAMILY of a young Colchester man fighting leukaemia are holding an event to find donors to save his life.
Student Rob George, 21, has been battling the disease since June 24, 2011.
He needs a bone marrow transplant to save his life after the disease returned.
A transplant match has not been found despite searches of the world-wide database, which has 20 million people registered.
His mum Lorraine George, dad Philip and brothers Tom, 28, and Sam, 26, have also been tested.
Mrs George, of Mile End, said: “Rob is so strong. He props the rest of us up.
“He doesn’t want people pitying him and thinking ‘poor Rob’.
“He is the most positive, lively person.
“The rug was completely pulled from under our feet when we found out.”
Rob, who plays with Colchester and East Essex Cricket Club, is undergoing intense chemotherapy at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge in preparation for a transplant.
Mrs George, 51, said: “The transplant team at Addenbrookes is drawing a blank on the international register.
“They have searched the world and nobody is coming up as a match.
“We are all special and unique and Rob has a protein in his blood which means he falls out of the common matches on the register.”
The family have teamed up with the Anthony Nolan Trust, which matches donors and patients, to find Rob his match.
They are holding an event in Colchester’s Castle Park next month to register as many people aged 16-30 as possible.
They hope to help not only Rob but others across the world.
Mrs George said: “Thirty years ago when the Anthony Nolan Trust was launched I remember standing in Castle Park trying to recruit people to the first register.
“I didn’t even read what I was handing out.
“You think you’re untouchable, that this won’t happen to you.
“All we can hope is there are more people registering every day.
“Somewhere someone can help us. We are looking to the future in a positive way.”
Donors can register to be put on the list by attending the event at Castle Park on Thursday, September 5.
It runs from 4.30pm to 8pm at the Colchester and East Essex Cricket Club Pavilion.
To register you will be asked to fill in a form and spit into a test tube.
Only people aged 16-30 can be registered by the Anthony Nolan Trust as they offer patients the best chance of life.
Mrs George said: “Being a donor is still seen as being really painful with big needles.
“But it’s really not like that anymore. They can often harvest what they need from your blood.
“I’m not saying it’s not a big deal but people should be reassured everything is done to protect the donor.”
Anyone between the ages of 31 and 49 can still register elsewhere but will have to do it when giving blood.
Comments are closed on this article.