The family of a young soldier fighting to defeat aggressive blood cancer have issued an urgent appeal to find a stem cell donor who could save his life.
Image source: www.army.mod.uk
Private Myles Brown, aged 27, of 1st Battalian Princess of Wales Royal Regiment 1 PRWW, has previously served a tour of Afghanistan and was diagnosed with acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in April this year. The condition progresses quickly and is very aggressive, with the only cure being a successful stem cell transplant.
Brown has served in the Army for nearly 10 years and has an 18-month-old daughter called Lilian with fiancee Vivienne. His family have all been tested but are unfortunately not a match, sparking the launch of a social media campaign to find a donor. Donor charity Anthony Nolan has received more than 2900 new applications in response, and Brown’s Battalian had the charity visit their Barracks in Germany to search for a match among his fellow personnel.
In an inspiring display of support and camaraderie, the Forces community in Germany have turned out in huge numbers to register with the Anthony Nolan Charity and get tested for being a donor. Testing is very easy and done via a saliva sample; you need to be aged 16 to 30 and in good health and young men are particularly urged to do it due to a shortage of supplies from this group. You can find out more about getting tested here.
With many soldiers fulfilling the main criteria for stem cell donors, it is hoped that personnel volunteering to be tested will be able to help Myles or someone else who is suffering.
Private Lee Schooling of 1PWRR has been tested:
“I didn’t know too much about what was involved before today but the test was really easy – just a spit into a tube and takes no time at all. It’s as simple as that. If I can do something as easy as that and if it turns out that I could potentially save someone’s life then that would just be an unbelievable feeling.”
Private Brown’s Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Mike Cornwell sent thoughts to him and his family, saying: “Private Brown is a true Tiger. Always positive, and relentlessly cheerful in the face of adversity he is fighting hard, and doing so with the full support of the 1 PWRR Family. We will stand with him and his family through this difficult period.”
Visit the Anthony Nolan website or find out more about the appeal here.