More than 140 Bramall Lane ‘heroes’ answer call to help Sheffield United fan battling cancer

The mother of a young Sheffield United fan battling cancer has praised the 145 ‘heroes’ who answered her call for potential lifesavers.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 3rd May 2019, 1:07 pm
Updated Friday, 17th May 2019, 9:43 am

That’s how many people volunteered to have swabs taken at Bramall Lane before the Blades hosted Ipswich last Saturday, to see if they were a match for 18-year-old Haris Hussain or any of the other 2,000-odd patients across the UK desperately in need of a blood stem cell transplant.

It will be a while before his family learn whether any of those who underwent the tests are suitable donors, but Harris’ mum Caroline said that whatever the outcome she would be eternally grateful for their kindness.

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Haris Hussain

While the vast majority of those getting swabs done at the ground were unsurprisingly Blades fans, she said visiting Ipswich fans volunteered too and even some Owls fans had braved rival territory to do their bit.

“Unfortunately I couldn’t be there as Haris was quite poorly at the time but from what my family have said the response was amazing, with people queuing eight or nine deep to have swabs taken,” she said.

“We’ve also had lots of people messaging us on social media saying they couldn’t be there but they’re going to do their swabs at home, so we must have got more than 200 potential donors signing up from this drive alone, which is brilliant.

“We’re immensely grateful to everyone for their invaluable contribution in signing up to the register to see if they can be someone’s hero and save a life.

“If just one of those 200 people proves to be a match for Harris or someone in his position that would be a fantastic result.

“Even once we do find a match for Harris, we won’t stop raising awareness of the need for donors because it’s important that we keep helping other families in the position we are now.”

Haris, who lives in Chapeltown and is studying sport at Barnsley College, was diagnosed in March with a rare form of leukaemia.

The talented cricketer, who has represented Yorkshire’s under-19s, had to have a bone marrow sample taken on Monday as his treatment continues.

But Caroline told how his anxiety about the procedure was eased by the joy of watching his beloved Blades seal promotion to the Premier League the day before, which she said had put a ‘massive smile’ on his face.

She urged anyone who has not yet joined the stem cell donor register to do so now, by applying for a free swab kit, which they can order online at www.dkms.org.uk or www.anthonynolan.org.