Harrison Walch, aged 14 and from Aston, was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia in April – one day after his mum took the teen to their family GP because of concerns for his health.
Having undergone two rounds of chemotherapy already, Harrison, who attends Aston Academy, has now been told he is at high risk of a relapse and needs an urgent stem cell transplant.
His sister has been tested and isn’t a match and the worldwide Stem Cell Register has also been checked but nobody is showing as a 100 per cent match.
LATEST: These are the 30 worst crime hotspots in Sheffield - how does your area compare? Harrison’s mum, Nickie Walch, who is a South Yorkshire police officer, is urging people to sign up to the register and raising awareness of stem cell donation. “We had no idea about stem cells before Harrison was poorly, it’s a new world to us and whilst we wish we’d never had to enter it, we want to do all we can to raise awareness about stem cell donation,” she said. “We are desperate to find the best possible match for Harrison, but we’d also like as many people as possible to sign up to help the thousands of other people who need a transplant too.
“Unfortunately until you’re in a situation like this, you don’t realise how significant signing up to the register is.” Victoria Pritchard, from the charity Anthony Nolan, which runs the stem cell register, said: “For someone with blood cancer, an amazing stranger donating their stem cells could be their best chance of survival.
“If you sign up to the Anthony Nolan stem cell register, you could be that stranger. You could be their second chance of life. “Anthony Nolan is the charity that makes lifesaving connections between people with blood cancer and incredible strangers ready to donate their stem cells. We’re saving lives right now. Three lives a day, in fact. But we can’t do it without you. Without you, there is no cure.” As part of efforts to raise awareness of stem cell donation and to fundraise for Sheffield Children’s Hospital, Harrison’s family, friends and police workers have organised a fun day at the English Institute of Sport on July 28. Search Harrison Kicks Leukaemia on Facebook and Instagram for progress on his fight for survival.
Visit www.anthonynolan.org/Harrison to find out more about stem cell donation and how to sign up to the register.