Charity football tournament at Christ’s College Finchley School to raise awareness for young Tommy’s Appeal
*Teams must be registered by Friday 8th April*
Tommy Simpson is a 4-year old boy of White (British) and Black (Caribbean) heritage who loves nothing more than playing with his toy aeroplanes and putting on his Dad’s uniform, pretending to be a firefighter.
In January 2016 he was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML), after being admitted to hospital a few days before Christmas. He has been in hospital ever since.
Tommy’s parents London Firefighter Nigel Simpson, 48, and Education Associate at Mary Kay Cosmetics (UK) Ltd Maxine Francis, 45, have launched an urgent appeal to find Tommy a potential lifesaving stem cell donor; in the event his imminent test results reveal he will require an unrelated stem cell (bone marrow) donor to save his life.
Tommy’s mixed heritage makes it extremely hard to find a donor as matching stem cell tissue types are inherited.
Mixed race people like Tommy have less than a 20% chance of finding an unrelated best possible match; as do individuals who are black or from a minority ethnic background.
There are only 3% of donors on the UK stem cell register who are mixed race, making Tommy’s chances of finding an unrelated donor extremely difficult.
An ACLT Charity Football Event is being held on Monday 11 April between 10am and 5pm at Christ College School, East End Road East Finchley, N2 OSE to raise awareness of the donor drive. To register for the seven a side tournament please email Ashley@suberbossoccerschool.co.uk or firstname.lastname@example.org.
What can you do?
If you’re White Northern European, Black African or Caribbean and mixed race, please become a donor on the stem cell register.
You may potentially be able to save the life of a funny and beautiful little boy.
Tommy, who is an only child, is currently being treated at London’s Great Ormond Street hospital. Extended family members were immediately tested, however a suitable match within the family was not found.
Nigel and Maxine, Tommy’s parents, said: “Tommy doesn’t have any siblings so the one in four chance of a sibling being a match doesn’t exist for Tommy.
“It is at best a 50 per cent chance for parents to be a match for their children; this is normally a route doctors go down when they can’t find anything better.
“We know the window of opportunity for an unrelated match being found is going fast with each day passing; that’s why we are appealing for people to join the stem cell register now.”
Nigel’s colleagues are showing their support for the #Match4Tommy campaign and the Brigade is using it’s social media channels to help the appeal.
London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson said: “Firefighter’s are at the heart of our communities and help others day in day out to keep London safe.
“Now we need help from the public to respond to this urgent appeal for donors for a London firefighter’s son Tommy.
“If you are yet to join the stem cell registers, please attend the donor drives and encourage your family and friend to attend too; Tommy desperately needs your help.”