A father of two who spent four years searching for a stem cell donor after being diagnosed with blood cancer said he had not “felt him alive in years” after completing a charity walk.

Peter McCleave was diagnosed with myeloma in 2017 and was told he had seven years to find a partner for a vital stem cell donation.

However, after a four-year global search, the 43-year-old from Cheshire has yet to find one.

He completed the acrobatic walk with Sally Hurman, 50, and Lisa Jackson, 51, at Damyns Hall airfield in Essex on September 25 to support DKMS, an international blood cancer charity.

The Wing March was the first time the three, all of whom have a personal connection to blood cancer, had met in person and it was hoped the challenge would raise awareness for the cause and help Mr McCleave in his search for a donor.

“I haven’t felt this in years. It’s an absolutely exhilarating and fantastic thing to do,” he said.

“I was diagnosed with a blood cancer called myeloma four years ago which prompted me to work alongside the guys at DKMS to help raise awareness and make people aware of the simplicity of becoming a donor. stem cells.

“A cheek swab can potentially save a life, maybe even mine one day.”

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Peter McCleave has been looking for a stem cell donor for four years

Ms Hurman, from Guildford, Surrey, whose husband was diagnosed with an incurable type of lymphoma six years ago, said: “I feel absolutely relieved now that I am down.

“But what I would like to say is that I knew I would have a safe landing and that people with blood cancer and blood complications who are in desperate need of a stem cell donor for survive, never have that guarantee. “

She added, “The type of lymphoma is incurable and at this stage not terminal.

“He’s just been seen by his oncologist and demoted, if you will, to annual appointments, which is absolutely amazing.

“He had treatment and didn’t need a stem cell transplant. However, if he relapsed, he would absolutely be in line for a stem cell transplant to save his life.”

Left to right: Sally Hurman, Lisa Jackson and Peter McCleave after completing a wing walk at Damyns Hall airfield in Essex,
Picture:
Left to right: Sally Hurman, Lisa Jackson and Peter McCleave after completing a wing walk at Damyns Hall airfield in Essex

Ms Jackson, a former Barnes leukemia patient in West London, said: ‘I was lucky my sister was 100% matched so she gave me a stem cell transplant.

“Without this stem cell transplant, I wouldn’t be here today.”

She said she was “very scared” before the wing walk, but by doing it “it shows everyone that if I can do this then people can swab their cheeks and save a life”.

Ms Jackson and Ms Hurman both explained that they hoped the wing walk would encourage more blood stem cell donor registrations, since only 2% of the UK population are registered as donors.

Details on registering for home swab kits can be found at: http: // Begin by registering online for your home swab kit at www.dkms.org.uk/register-now.


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