It’s a life-threatening illness which threatens the future of a 40-year-old father of two...but there’s a chance you could help save his life.
The Whitby Gazette is urging people to attend a donor event next Friday to help Peter McCleave, a former Eskdale pupil who has multiple myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells.
He needs to find a matching donor to help him battle the illness and potentially save his life.
“I have a wife and two kids and I’m only 40-years-old,” he said.
“We need people to do it because I’m looking for a donor. By doing it you are looking at saving other people as well – just being on the register will help hundreds and thousands of people.”
Fitness fanatic Pete, who now lives in Cheshire, is no stranger to a challenge – he’s completed ‘Tough Mudder’ courses and the notorious ‘Iron Man’ triathlon race – but this battle is proving his biggest challenge yet.
It was not long after he’d completed the mammoth Iron Man race that his diagnosis came in June last year. “It came as a shock,” he said. “It was very out of the blue.
“Ideally we need a donor who will donate stem cells. That’s why we are now having a bit of a push.
“I think it needs to be more broadly appreciated, it’s such a simple thing to do, it’s quite a non-invasive procedure, but it can save lives.”
His biggest wish is to be able to see his young boys Max, 7, and Seb, 5, grow up, but is relying on finding a match for that to happen.
Pete’s father, Mike McCleave, added: “The idea of the day is we are asking as many people as possible to give a two minute swab in their mouth. Hopefully we will then find a match. If we can get a match there is a good chance his life will be prolonged.”
Pete’s brother, who lives in Australia, is also offering 10,000 dollars if a match is found. The event is coordinated in connection with DKMS, a charity dedicated to combating blood cancer. Mike added: “On the day there is a raffle and we have got many prizes. We are hoping that people will donate so we can support the charity.”
Myeloma is a type of cancer that develops from cells in the bone marrow called plasma cells. Bone marrow is the spongy tissue found inside the inner part of some of our large bones.
The bone marrow produces different types of blood cells. Myeloma can develop wherever there are plasma cells. So it can be anywhere there is bone marrow, including the pelvis, spine and ribcage. As it can occur in several places in the body, it is often called multiple myeloma.
The swab event is taking place at the Fitness Machine gym, Silver Street, Whitby on Friday April 13 from 9am until 8.30pm.
Everyone who attends to be swabbed will be entered into a free raffle, with prizes including a two-night stay at Ashness Bridge Farm, Borrowdale, a two-course meal for two at The Jet Miners Inn, GreatBroughton and afternoon tea on a river cruise on the River Tees.
Support Pete’s battle – like the campaign page on Facebook, search for: @savepete.