Save a life in Josie's memory
May 18 2007 By Chloe Griffiths, The Journal
The Journal is today urging every reader to become a potential lifesaver in memory of inspirational teenager Josie Grove.
The brave 16-year-old's legacy continues this weekend when the first of a series of bone marrow sessions is held in her honour.
A pupil at Hexham's Queen Elizabeth High School, she died in February after a two-year battle with leukaemia, but not before raising tens of thousands of pounds for other young people suffering from the disease.
And money continues to flood into the Josie Grove Leukaemia Fund from generous readers, charity events and profits from her lasting symbol of strength, Josie's Dragonfly.
Josie's parents Cliff and Jacqui, both jewellery designers, of Princes Street, Corbridge, are carrying on her work and have donated £10,000 from the fund to enable hundreds of people to join the bone marrow register.
The couple, who have three other children, are trying to double the number of UK donors in memory of Josie - and they are urging you to get their campaign rolling.
Their donation to the Anthony Nolan Trust will fund the addition of more than 140 people to the register at three clinics, in Newcastle, Corbridge and Hexham, in the next few weeks. The first session is tomorrow Saturday at Newcastle's Theatre Royal and will be supported by The Journal's Join Up for Josie campaign, which has already seen more than 70 people sign up. Cliff said: "There are about 60 million people living in the UK, but only 380,000 on the bone marrow register.
"I'd love to double that figure over the next couple of years. It would be an amazing achievement, but we cannot do it alone."
The Groves' donation will mean everyone at the clinics will be able to join the register without a cost to the Anthony Nolan Trust.
Only people aged 18 to 40 can join the register and the trust is ideally seeking young men, especially from ethnic minorities.
Cliff said: "Bone marrow transplants are the main route toward finding a cure for leukaemia and the more people who sign up for the register, the greater the chance of finding a perfect match.
"There are several different types of leukaemia and Josie had one of the hardest to budge. She had two bone marrow transplants, but unfortunately did not have a perfect match. They still go ahead with non-perfect matches, but if it had been perfect, it would have increased her chances.
"This is why it is so important for more people to get on the register."
Where to sign up tomorrow
A lifesaveing clinic to sign up bone marrow donors will take place at Newcastle's Theatre Royal - thanks to a £10,000 donation by Josie Grove's family.
Cliff and Jacqui Grove want to double the number of donors in the UK in memory of their daughter - but they need your help.
Their donation to the Anthony Nolan Trust will cover the cost of adding more than 140 people to the bone marrow register at clinics in Newcastle, Corbridge and Hexham.
Anyone interested in participating should go to the Theatre Royal, in Grey Street, between 10am and noon tomorrow. May 19
Only people aged 18 to 40 can join the register, but people of all ages can help out in other ways.