A campaign by a Lincolnshire weekly to find a bone marrow donor for a reporter’s cousin has gone nationwide.
The Skegness Standard launched its search for a donor for 22-year-old Nathan Hancock in its latest edition.
The story was picked up by other papers in the Lincolnshire Newspapers division before being used by titles across Johnston Press’ UK centres.
Nathan, a footballer for Skegness Town FC, is suffering from a rare form of cancer called lymphoblastic lymphoma but, because of his mixed white and West Indies heritage, finding a suitable donor could be even more problematic.
Helen Bell, news reporter with the Standard and also Nathan’s cousin, said: “He’s been in and out of hospital since February and he’s having chemotherapy at the moment. We thought he’d gone into remission in May.
“It’s difficult enough to find a match but his heritage just makes it even more complicated.
“We launched the appeal on the front page and inside and every day we’re getting more replies from other Johnston Press papers saying ‘We’re doing it’.”
Helen said that anyone, regardless of their race and heritage, could be a match for Nathan but the appeal is calling for more mixed race people in particular to sign up to the bone marrow donor register as this would provide the most likely match for him.