Doing it for dad - student sets up donor drive

By Jennifer Lipman, July 8, 2011
Lymphoma sufferer Alan Tomlinson with his daughter Naomi

Lymphoma sufferer Alan Tomlinson with his daughter Naomi

A campaign has been launched to find a donor for a life-saving stem cell transplant for a Manchester father-of-three with a rare form of lymphoma.

Businessman Alan Tomlinson, 55, from Cheadle was diagnosed two years ago.

The Yeshurun Synagogue member has undergone chemotherapy and a transplant using his own cells but his only long-term hope is a donor transplant.

His eldest daughter Naomi is spearheading the donor search. The medical student is planning screening days in Manchester and London with the support of the Anthony Nolan Trust.

Ms Tomlinson, 23, wants to encourage people aged between 18 and 40 to attend a screening and sign up to the bone marrow register. Only a saliva sample is required.

Some patients find matches with relatives.

‘Signing up gives an amazing opportunity to save a life’

For the remainder, the Nolan trust has built up a register of 420,000 people.

"There are currently 1,600 people in the UK waiting for a match and so I'm using this opportunity to find a match for them as well as dad," Ms Tomlinson explained. "Signing up to the bone marrow register gives each of us the amazing opportunity to save a life.

"I would do anything to save my dad. But as I'm not a match, I'm relying on the generosity of other people."

Mr Tomlinson said he was hugely proud of his daughter's efforts. "She's very focused and great at getting things done. It really means a lot to me and it would be a mitzvah to help more people like me. At least this is something positive that my friends and family can focus on."

Screening days will be held this month in London and Manchester and at Limmud Fest over the August Bank Holiday. Find out more here

Last updated: 10:37am, July 8 2011