FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Maidenhead Man in Urgent Bone Marrow Appeal
Father-of-Two Appeals to the Mauritian Community for a Donor
Maidenhead father-of-two, Chris Maury, and his family have issued an urgent appeal for a bone marrow donor after the thirty-eight-year-old software engineer was diagnosed with a difficult-to-treat form of leukaemia. His search is complicated by the fact that he needs to find somebody with a similar Anglo-Mauritian ethnic background.
Potential donors need to be aged 18-40 and have a Mauritian father of Indian origin and a European, preferably British, mother. Volunteers in the UK can apply directly to the Anthony Nolan Trust and if there is a match, Chris’s consultant will be informed. Overseas volunteers should apply to their local tissue bank or GP. Alternative methods for acquiring bone marrow mean that the process no longer needs to be invasive or painful and people should not be put off by the upper age limit either; once a person is accepted by the register, they will be eligible to donate until they are 60.
When Chris started to suffer deep muscle pains, he initially thought he’d overdone it at the gym. But when the pains got worse, he visited his GP for a blood test. Almost immediately, he was summoned to his local hospital, where he was given the news that he was suffering from Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia and within days, he was travelling to Oxford for intensive chemotherapy. Chris says, “When I got my diagnosis, the first emotion I felt was relief – I finally had a reason for the niggling ailments that I had been suffering, and a plan of action. However, the relief soon changed to concern for my wife and children, who were having to deal with the enormity of the situation.”
Doctors told Chris that he has a complication known as Philadelphia Chromosome Positive Leukaemia, which is resistant to most conventional forms of treatment, and his best hope now is an urgent bone marrow transplant. Straight away, the Anthony Nolan Trust, the UK-based donor register, started to search for a potential donor, but he was advised that given his ethnic background, his chances of finding a match would be significantly reduced.
After tests on close relatives drew a blank, Chris’s father, Marc, decided to launch a global search for a volunteer, a quest that took him to Mauritius while his son celebrated his 38th birthday. “I was really disappointed not to be with Chris for his birthday,” says Marc, “but if I can find him a donor, that will be the best present ever.”
Chris’s wife, Sarah, says, “It’s really difficult to watch somebody you love going through an ordeal like this. I would urge everyone to consider joining the register because even if they can’t help us, they may be able to save another family from the heartbreak that we are experiencing.”
Anthony Nolan Trust
020 7284 1234
Information for editors:
Philadelphia Chromosome Positive Leukaemia occurs when two chromosomes in the affected cells get “swapped over” and it is resistant to most conventional forms of treatment.