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Translink in Armagh holding stem cell registration event in memory of Gavin McNaney

Life-long friend Karl McQuaid is encouraging people to sign up for what is an easy procedure which could potentially save a life

Gavin McNaney, who passed away two years ago.

Translink are hosting a blood stem cell registration event and coffee morning this Saturday as part of the ‘Somebody’s Stranger’ campaign, in memory of Armagh man Gavin McNaney, who passed away two years ago.

It will take place from 10am until 2pm and it is a painless process – which could potentially save a life.

Former St Catherine’s College teacher Gavin was just 37 years of age when he passed on November 18,  2017.

He had been diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia whilst teaching in Dubai.

Gavin spent months in hospital undergoing treatment and had a bone marrow transplant in London.

But after contracting a common cold and an infection to his lungs, his life was sadly cut short and he passed away peacefully with mum and dad, Nuala and Pat, by his side.

Friend Karl McQuaid has been raising funds and awareness after the passing of his life-long friend, whom he had first met when they both attended St Patrick’s Grammar School in Armagh.

He has been running registration events as part of his ‘Somebody’s Stranger’ campaign for nine months in Gavin’s memory and is keen to advise people just how easy it is to register .

He – who would like to thank Leanne Armstrong and her colleagues at Translink for inviting them to come along – told Armagh I : “Joining the stem cell register is quick, easy and pain-free.

“Potential donors have a swab taken of the inside of their cheeks with the whole process taking just a few minutes. They will then be added to DKMS’s worldwide database and could be contacted at any time should they be a genetic match for a blood cancer sufferer anywhere in the world.

“Those lucky enough to be a match would then be asked to donate their stem cells in a pain-free procedure similar to giving blood. This could save the life of the cancer sufferer.

“Donations are at your own discretion at the event with all proceeds going to Leukaemia & Lymphoma NI – Northern Ireland’s only charity dedicated to fighting blood cancers.”

Those willing to join the register should be in general good health and aged between 18 and 55.

All are urged to come along on Saturday morning, when the city will be full of revellers for the annual Georgian Day event. Please take time to come along to the bus station and help make a huge difference.

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