Huge response to appeal for James, six
The family of a six-year-old who has a rare blood disorder has issued a rallying cry to folk in Shetland and further afield to sign up for a bone marrow register and raise funds for the Anthony Nolan Trust.
More than 1,000 people have liked the 7in7 for James Facebook page – set up by James Hawick’s uncle Craig Smaaskjaer.
James has a rare blood disorder called aplastic anemia which affects his immune sytem and is in need of a bone marrow transplant.
Craig said James was diagnosed about a month ago, and when the family discovered his diagnosis they did not have a great deal of knowledge about what bone marrow and blood disease was, and how people could go about registering as bone marrow donors.
He said it costs the Anthony Nolan Trust £100 each time they register somebody as a donor. To help raise funds he has decided to climb Ben Nevis seven days in a row to raise awareness, get people registering and raise money for the charity.
Since launching the Facebook page on Sunday more than £3,000 has been raised for the Anthony Nolan Trust -. the UK’s blood cancer charity and bone marrow register.
Folk have also been registering as bone marrow donors, and posting ‘selfies’ of themselves on the Facebook page, showing their support.
Staff from Anthony Nolan will be coming up to Shetland on 13th September, Craig said to try and get more folk to sign up.
He is hoping to get visiting workers from Petrofac and BP on the register and raise awareness too.
The page has been set up with a photo of James, but Craig said it is about helping the his nephew and all others looking for a match, including those in Shetland.
Craig climbed Ben Nevis last year and decided he wanted to “push himself to the limit” with this challenge.
He will be posting messages on Facebook and Twitter during his climbs, to encourage people to sign up to the register and promote the Anthony Nolan Trust .
Craig said Shetland is also well connected with other parts of the world and hoped people overseas will sign up to register as bone marrow donors too.
James’s match could be anywhere in the world, he said.
“It’s just amazing so many people have got behind it,” added Craig. “This is what Shetland is good for, it’s this sense of community.”
And folk have been paying £100 outright to cover the amount it costs to register.
“It’s incredible the good will from people,” said Craig.
Folk over 30 can also register to donate bone marrow through The British Bone Marrow Registery.
James’ dad Ivan Hawick said it was amazing how folk had responded and they thanked people for their support.
Anyone wishing to sponsor Craig should go to www.justgiving.com/craig-smaaskjaer