A Northampton mascot best known as Clarence the Dragon is calling on others to sign a stem cell register at tomorrow’s Race For Life, after he was found to be a donor match.
A year ago Cobblers mascot Ray Lucas, signed up to the Anthony Nolan register at the Race for Life event at Abington Park.
The Duston man, 22, filled out a form and a ‘spit kit’ at a stall being run by Northampton mum Kaisha Morris, who is desperately searching for a stem cell donor for her son Joey, who has a rare blood condition and needs a bone marrow donor.
Shortly after the event, Mr Lucas got a call from Anthony Nolan to say he had been found as a match for someone in desperate need of a transplant.
Twelve months later, he is now calling on others to join the stem cell register when the charity returns to Abington Park for the Race For Life on Sunday.
Mr Lucas said: “Filling out a form and giving a bit of spit was the least I could do.
It was a no-brainer and to be honest I didn’t think anything would come of it, but I thought it was better to be on the register and at least have that chanceRay Lucas (AKA Clarence the Dragon)
“It was a no-brainer and to be honest I didn’t think anything would come of it, but I thought it was better to be on the register and at least have that chance.”
Mr Lucas went on to donate his stem cells in April in London.
“It was honestly pain free and I was so well looked after by the nurses,” he added.
“My mum and dad were there with me so it was a proud moment.
“I’d like to say thank you to Kaisha Morris as she is the reason I’ve potentially saved a stranger’s life. If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t be on the register because I didn’t know about it.”
Mr Lucas beat the one in 1,200 odds of being called up to donate.
However the search for a match for Joey Ziadi, who suffers from a blood disorder called Diamond Blackfan Anaemia, is still on-going.
Since Joey’s diagnosis, the family have campaigned to recruit more young people to the register, hosting several events around Northampton.
They had their efforts recognised by Anthony Nolan winning the ‘Recruiter of the Year’ award at the Anthony Nolan Supporter Awards at the House of Commons.
Kaisha Morris, Joey’s mum, said: “We’re still looking for a match for Joey and there are so many other families like us. We need more young people like Ray to come down to our recruitment tent and sign up. Who knows? You could save someone’s life, just like Ray did.”
Ray will be helping team GIJoey sign up more potential lifesavers at the Race for Life event at Abington Park on Sunday, (June 7).
If you are aged between 16 and 30 and in good health you can also sign up online at www.anthonynolan.org.