The father of a young Bessbrook boy who desperately needs a lifesaving bone marrow transplant says the family will never give up on their search for a match.
Danny Browne was speaking ahead of a Swab for Bobby, motorcycle run and fun day which is being held this Sunday, June 25.
Eight-year-old Bobby Browne was diagnosed with Leukaemia last summer, but extensive treatment has proven to be unsuccessful.
His dad and mum Louise hope to bring as many people as possible together to get swabbed in the hope of finding a suitable match, with a team from the family trained to take swabs on the day.
The event will be held at Shane O’Neill’s GAA Club in Camlough and will include face painting, a petting zoo, live entertainment, vintage cars and tractors, games, amusements and much more.
Members of the Outkasts Motorcycle Club are also urging bikers to join them on a run as part of the event.
Speaking on a video ahead of the fun day, Danny said: “I was asked the other day will I ever find this donor and I says, ‘Yes, I will never give up on finding this donor’.
“My son Bobby believes that. The other night he put his arms around me and he whispered in my ear, ‘Daddy, we will never give up’, and we will never give up.”
Other members of the community have also appealed via the video for people to go along and be swabbed.
Bobby’s cousin Laura Elliott said: “Someone is going to be Bobby’s hero and save his life by doing this. Bobby is a bright and determined young boy and is a inspiration to us all.”
In April, Danny and Louise made an impassioned plea through Armagh I for people to sign up to the register, no matter where in the world they are.
“It’s not only about saving Bobby’s life, it could save some other child’s life too,” said Danny. “People signing up now could be a match for some other person. I know my campaign is for my son but I know I may be helping others too.”
Bobby was diagnosed with Leukaemia in May last year after developing a lump on his neck, which was originally thought to have been glandular fever.
After spells of chemotherapy he spent two months in hospital in England undergoing cell therapy treatment.
Hopes were raised when he went into remission but not long afterwards his family was told the treatment had left his body and that, should he relapse, doctors would struggle to remove the Leukaemia. Their only hope is a bone marrow transplant.
For those who can’t make it to the fun day, there will be other opportunities to go along to pop-up drives to get swabbed.
Anyone interested can also go online and order a kit to their house.
Alternatively, register as a donor here https://www.dkms.org.uk/register-now