Wales

The Alarm's Mike Peters recruits MPs for stem cell donors

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Media captionMike Peters played at parliament as some MPs signed the donor register

Mike Peters is a survivor. Lead singer of The Alarm since 1981, he's had 15 UK Top 40 hits and sold more than five million records.

He's also a cancer survivor, twice, and in that role he came to parliament today as part of a drive to increase the number of stem cell donors.

A day after receiving chemotherapy treatment near his home in north Wales, he headed to Westminster for the launch of "Get On The List", a campaign to recruit potential donors.

MPs were targeted at a donor registration event in the hope that they would encourage others to register to help blood cancer patients.

The campaign sees Peters' Love Hope Strength Foundation join forces with Delete Blood Cancer UK charity, which says that half the people in Britain who need a life-saving stem cell donor don't actually find a suitable match.

The register is open to anyone between the ages of 17 and 55, if they are in good general health. Fans of The Alarm have been recruited during the band's tours.

Alyn and Deeside Labour MP Mark Tami, whose son Max survived leukaemia, said: "Max was very fortunate to be matched with an unrelated 35-year-old male UK donor.

"We still find it incredible that someone, somewhere and totally unknown to us was willing to try and save the life of a young child.

"We will always be indebted to this very kind, special person and who one day, we hope to meet face-to-face. He is always in our thoughts."

Peters said: "We are so pleased at the success of this campaign, and are also delighted that the partnership is raising awareness that making a stem cell donation in this day and age is almost as simple as giving blood and virtually painless.

"People are realising that one day it could be someone that they know who needs a stem cell donor, and the more people that are on the list, the better everyone's chances of finding an unrelated donor are."

Deirdra Taylor, of Delete Blood Cancer UK, said: "Stem cell donations provide life-saving treatments for patients with blood cancer by replacing their unhealthy cells with healthy blood-forming cells.

Around 70% of patients needing a transfusion of stem cells rely on the register of potential donors to find an unrelated donor."

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