Scores of new donors inspired by little Evie

Volunteers at the Anthony Nolan donor-registration event in Alnwick.
Volunteers at the Anthony Nolan donor-registration event in Alnwick.

More than 150 people joined the bone-marrow register in just four hours on Saturday as the community gathered to give the gift of life.

Inspired by little Evie Campbell, the event for charity Anthony Nolan took place at Swansfield Park First School in Alnwick and saw 161 young people aged 16 to 30 sign up.

The current focus is on young men, because they currently account for more than half of all donations each year, but only make up 13 per cent of the register.

Those on the register could prove to be life-savers for people like Evie, from Shilbottle, who was diagnosed with Diamond-Blackfan anaemia (DBA) at the age of eight weeks.”

The condition, caused by a failure in the bone marrow and characterised by an inability to produce red blood cells, affects only around 125 people in the UK. It requires intensive therapy and has no known cure.

The five-year-old has already undergone more than 20 blood transfusions, but after a failed steroids treatment, she now needs to have a bone-marrow transplant in the next two years.

Evie’s mum Rebecca said: “It was a brilliant turn-out and a large proportion of the new donors were male which makes a big impact. It was so overwhelming to see so many local people coming along and showing their support.

“A special thank-you to all the volunteers who helped out on the day and to Lauren Chapman who organised this whole event.

“Any one of these donors could go on to save the life of someone just like Evie.