Blood cancer battle call by Malton man

Michael Hill in the half marathon.
Michael Hill in the half marathon.

A Malton man is urging people in the Ryedale area to help fight blood cancer.

Michael Hill, 35, is asking people in the area to take the first step in becoming a potential lifesaver for someone with blood cancer by registering with DKMS.

Michael was originally inspired to register with DKMS last December, following his father’s diagnosis with acute myeloid leukaemia.

David Hill became unwell in 2017, following flu-like symptoms and a lump under his arm. He was told by his GP to immediately go to Scarborough General Hospital, as they suspected cancer. This was later confirmed and David was diagnosed with acute leukaemia in August 2017.

Father-of-one Michael and David enjoyed many outdoor pursuits together, which prompted Michael to compete in the 13.1 mile Humber Bridge Half Marathon earlier this year.

David said: “Dad’s donor gave us extra time with him.

“It might have only been 12 weeks in total but it’s time we wouldn’t have had.

“It means so much. You can’t put a price on life.

“My message would be to tell anyone you’ve got it in you to save someone’s life. Your blood stem cells might be the lifesaving gift someone desperately needs to beat a blood cancer or disorder. We all need to act now, during Blood Cancer Awareness Month.

“A little bit of discomfort to help someone in need would be a priceless gift.”

Every 20 minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with a blood cancer, such as leukaemia, myeloma or lymphoma and often a blood stem cell donation is the best – and sometimes the only – treatment method to help give someone a second chance at life.

Two in three people with a blood cancer in the UK won’t find a matching blood stem cell donor in their family, so need to rely on a complete stranger to help save their life.

If you are called upon, there are two donation methods. Around 90% of all donations are made through a method called peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) collection. This method is very similar to giving blood.

It involves blood being taken from one of the donor’s arms and a machine separates the blood stem cells from it.

The donor’s blood is then returned to them through their other arm.

In just 10% of cases, donations are made through bone marrow collection.