Donors help boy through chemotherapy

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Dedicated blood donors from Halifax have been recognised by NHS Blood and Transplant for helping others, including a young boy who underwent treatment for cancer.

Robert Bradford, John Szkwarczuk and Phillip Hiley have each given blood 100 times and were honoured at a ceremony held at Hazlewood Castle in North Yorkshire.

Sarah Mayman from Leeds was invited to speak at the ceremony and brought along her five-year-old son Joseph, who has undergone so many blood and platelet transfusions that his family have lost count.

Joseph was diagnosed with the aggressive cancer neuroblastoma in October 2012 and underwent 14 months of treatment, including eight cycles of chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant. Throughout his treatment he needed many transfusions of either red blood cells or platelets because his body just couldn’t make blood cells quickly enough.Thankfully, Joseph got through an extremely difficult time and is now well enough to attend school.

Amanda Eccles, senior marketing co-ordinator at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “Our loyal donors, like those honoured at our ceremony at Hazlewood Castle, are very special to us, which is why such an event gives us the opportunity to say a real thanks.

“Stories like Joseph’s remind us how important their donations have been. Between them, they have saved thousands of lives, and improved the lives of countless others who have required blood transfusions. These donors are an inspiration to us all.”