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Search for a donor to save Stratford firefighter's son with leukaemia

PUBLISHED: 13:07 18 February 2016 | UPDATED: 13:07 18 February 2016

Tommy, who was diagnosed with leukaemia in January, has less than 20 per cent chance of finding a suitable stem cell donor because he is of mixed race   /Credit: @LondonFire)

Tommy, who was diagnosed with leukaemia in January, has less than 20 per cent chance of finding a suitable stem cell donor because he is of mixed race /Credit: @LondonFire)

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Tommy Simpson loves nothing more than dressing up in his dad Nigel's London Fire Brigade uniform and pretending he is a firefighter.

Tommy loves a trip to the fire station with his dad (Photo: @Londonfire)Tommy loves a trip to the fire station with his dad (Photo: @Londonfire)

But since just before Christmas, the youngster has been in Great Ormond Street Hospital and in January he was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML).

A bone marrow transplant could help save his life, but because Tommy has both white British and black Caribbean heritage, it’s much more difficult to find a donor.

As an only child, he has no siblings who can donate, and although his extended family had stem cell tests immediately, none were a match.

This means that Tommy will need to find a donor on the UK stem cell register - but only three percent of people listed are mixed race.

Tommy with his parents Maxine Francis and Nigel Simpson /Credit:@Londonfire)Tommy with his parents Maxine Francis and Nigel Simpson /Credit:@Londonfire)

This means Tommy has a less than 20 percent chance of finding an unrelated match.

Now his parents Nigel and Maxine are desperately appealing for people who have mixed white northern European heritage with black African or black Caribbean ancestry to join the register to help their poorly son.

They said: “We know the window of opportunity for an unrelated match being found is going fast with each day passing; that’s why we are appealing for people to join the stem cell register now.”

Nigel’s colleagues at Stratford Fire Station are showing their support for the campaign, encouraging as many people of mixed heritage as possible to get tested.

London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson said: “Firefighters are at the heart of our communities and help others day in day out to keep London safe. Now we need help from the public to respond to this urgent appeal for donors for a London firefighter’s son, Tommy.”

For more information on the #Match4Tommy donor drives, call ACLT on 020 3757 7700 or visit aclt.org

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