Recognition for CGD Society family

A family whose 10 year old son Alex had CGD have won an award for raising awareness of the need for more stem cell donors to join the Anthony Nolan register.
  
David and Louise Hannard, who are CGD Society members, said it was great for their contribution to be recognised at the House of Commons award ceremony in September. It honoured the work that the uniformed services have done to increase stem cell donor numbers.   

Finding a donor

When the couple knew that Alex needed a bone marrow transplant (BMT) to treat his CGD, they set up an appeal to increase donor numbers by using their contacts in the armed services. Alex was getting really ill and they knew that having a BMT was vital.

“There wasn’t a match in our family and finding a suitable unrelated donor in these circumstances can be quite challenging,” says Louise. “Finding a donor through the Anthony Nolan register and its connections world-wide was our only hope. David is a Flight Lieutenant and I’m a retired RAF officer so we organised events with Anthony Nolan in our area – the Bogner Police Club, RAF Wittering and on the Isle of Wight,”

“Alex played a huge part in all this; he was a symbol of why it was so important to sign up to be a donor.”

“Sign up”

Louise and David were “amazed” to find out that having to find an unrelated donor can affect over 70% of people who need this life-saving treatment for disorders like CGD and blood cancers.

Eventually a suitable donor match for Alex was found in Germany and Alex is doing well following a successful BMT at Great Ormond Street Hospital in November 2011.
“We were lucky,” says Louise. “I would really encourage anyone who is healthy and between the ages of 18-30 to sign up to the register.”

Read Alex’s story about his BMT journey.

Find out more about Louise’s regional support group for the south coast and Hampshire.

More about the Anthony Nolan register and donation

  • There are over 450,000 people on the Anthony Nolan blood stem cell register. The charity wants to increase this to 1 million potential donors.
  • Anthony Nolan particularly want to recruit young men aged 18-30. They are the most likely to be chosen as donors yet account for just 11% of the register.
  • 80% of donations take place via peripheral blood stem cell collection – donating through a vein in your arm, a process similar to donating blood. It takes place in an outpatient appointment.
  • Most donors talk about how wonderful it is to have potentially saved someone’s life.

To join the register, you need to be between 18 and 30, weigh more than eight stone (51kg) and be in general good health.

For more information on the donating process or to apply to join the register, please visit www.anthonynolan.org or call 0303 303 0303.

All new donors are welcome but young men are particularly encouraged to join the register.