TORQUAY fire station are leading the fight against leukaemia after a firefighter was diagnosed with the illness
Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service are holding a donor day on September 5 to raise awareness of Leukaemia and the inspiration for the day came about after firefighter Jason Worthington was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (Philadelphia+).
Leading the campaign for the service is Station Manager, Dave Roddy from Torquay who explains: "I have a personal interest in encouraging people to become a donor, as my wife Jo and I have been registered for 25 years on the Anthony Nolan Trust donor transplant site after Jo's brother and my uncle died of leukaemia. Once on the register you stay on until your 60.
"To register you give a saliva sample, and you go on their database register and if they think you have a match they contact you. This has happened to us three times now - the next stage is a blood test. This happened to Jo two years ago and she gave a bone marrow and stem cell donation which involved a three day hospital stay in London."
Firefighter Jason is currently an outpatient at Torbay Hospital where he is undergoing chemotherapy treatment seven days a week. Later in the year he will be going to Derriford for a bone marrow (stem cell) transplant but at the moment Jason has a mismatched donor - being mismatched due to lack of a suitable donor is equally dangerous and could lead to serious life threatening complications.
Dave added: "I feel it is the least Jo and myself can do as either someone is either going to die or else like Jason be in a really difficult situation. The good thing about it is that after three years, if the recipient agrees you're allowed to meet them. So from a personal point of view we find it a really inspiring and rewarding thing to do.
"We're hoping by rising the profile of Jason’s situation there might be a small possibly that someone in the service will be a match for him."