Queens Park Rangers will host a swab centre outside Loftus Road on Saturday to try to find a bone marrow transplant match for a close family friend of the defender Jimmy Dunne. Daniel Greer, a 14-year-old diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), urgently requires a blood stem cell donor and Dunne is determined to help in the “race against time”.
QPR and Dunne are urging supporters to consider taking the simple test, which could have a profound impact on someone’s life. QPR, who will warm up in T-shirts adorned with the message #DoItForDaniel, host Rotherham, with about 14,000 supporters expected to be in attendance. DKMS, a blood cancer charity, will set up a mobile station on South Africa Road for supporters and passersby.
“I’m asking Rotherham fans as well as QPR fans, and the community of football as a collective,” Dunne said. “It has a greater meaning than how important the football match is to people. We are obsessed with football and it’s our lives but there are people out there literally fighting for their lives. The more people that show up, the more likely we are to find a match.”
Dunne has requested DKMS to send QPR testing kits and after raising awareness with his teammates in recent days and he hopes to reach out to more clubs. “I have discussed it with some of the lads,” Dunne said. “It has shocked some of them a little bit. It is still really fresh but the staff have been great and very supportive. Going forward, after this game on Saturday, it is something I’m going to talk more about and hopefully we can get test kits sent out to every football club, or as many as want to take part.”
Greer was diagnosed with AML in June and after chemotherapy was told he would require a bone marrow transplant. There is no single cure but a blood stem cell donation from a genetically similar person can offer the best treatment and a second chance at life. “Daniel is a young musician in my mum’s orchestra, a really joyful, talented young man and a wonderful, happy kid,” Dunne said. “It is very urgent and a race against time.”
Only 2% of the UK population are registered as potential blood stem cell donors. “It is such a low figure,” Dunne said. “It is a matter of making people aware and getting people to register. Three out of four people diagnosed with blood cancer don’t find a match. On the DKMS website people can fill out a form, get a swab test sent to their house and they could save a life.”