THE girlfriend of a Black Country regular 27-year-old Ed Fox, who is seriously ill with a very rare form of blood cancer, is appealing to Bugle readers to be potential stem cell donors to help save his life.
Ed, who used to drink at the Waggon & Horses in Halesowen and the Bull & Bladder, Brierley Hill, was diagnosed with Epstein Barr Virus driven lymphoma and hemophagocytosis just days after moving to Gent, Belgium, last May to be with his girlfriend Katrien.
Ed has been undergoing heavy chemotherapy while he waits for a suitable donor.
Katrien has been raising awareness via the internet, the local media in Belgium and has set up a page on Facebook: "Red Ed-Word Stamcel2donor".
Katrien explained: "The chance of a match is barely 1 in 50,000, but without the help of a stem cell donor the love of my life is going to die.
"That is why I hope as many people as possible will register. It doesn't take more than donating some blood and if it doesn't help my Ed, it might help some other unfortunate soul." Ed studied physics with astrophysics at Birmingham University and until recently had been studying International Development at The Open University. It was just before moving to Gent that Ed developed the virus.
In almost all cases the Epstein Barr virus causes glandular fever but Ed explained: "With me it caused an aggressive form of cancer and on top of that I have a rare complication from which 50 per cent of the patients die within a year."
Readers can help Ed in two ways. If you are in good health and under 55 you can register as a donor with the Delete Blood Cancer Trust at www.deletebloodcancer.org.uk or the Anthony Nolan Trust at www.anthonynolan.org. They will send you a free swab kit to analyse your DNA and test for a match. You can also join Ed's online campaign www.facebook.com/edneedsyou