Bone marrow could save lives

Tony and Carl

Tony and Carl

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A Peterborough man who helped save the life of a nine year-old has urged residents to donate bone marrow.

Tony Blood (35) donated his bone marrow to Carl Hillis eight years ago after Carl was diagnosed with T-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma for a second time.

Dad of two Tony said: “I was a serving member in the RAF when I was a blood donor and was asked about joining the British Bone Marrow Registry. It wasn’t until I was told that I was a perfect match to a little boy in 2008, I realised the enormity of what being on the register meant – the chance to save someone’s life.”

He has now met Carl, and is treated as part of the family.

He said: “Now we meet several times a year and both families are an extension of each other’s. He is a little brother to me, and calls me his brother from another mother! Now I am a dad myself I fully appreciate the effect Carl’s illness had on his family and their lives. It feels amazing to know that one simple act can have a huge effect to someone.”

Carl now aged 17, from Essex, added: “I am really thankful to Tony for his kindness and generosity as without the transplant I might not be here today.

“He has given me the chance to live a normal, healthy and fulfilling life. I am able to take part in a lot of sports such as rugby with my local club, swimming and motorsport. I am eternally grateful that he was on the British Bone Marrow Registry and my perfect match.”

For more information about bone marrow donation, visit www.nhsbt.nhs.uk