A leukaemia-stricken Jewish mother from Kenton whose children reignited the Spit4Mum campaign following her return to hospital had an A-list boost this week, when several celebrities pledged their support.
Sharon Berger, who needs a bone marrow transplant, is undergoing chemotherapy in Hammersmith Hospital while her family look for a matching stem cell, as famous faces from the world of television backed the family’s quest.
Among those penning heartfelt messages were explorer Bear Grylls, comedian Russell Kane, comedian Ashley Blaker, broadcaster Emma Barnett, actor Tamsin Outhwaite and TOWIE star Bobby Norris, who Sharon met at the House of Commons two years ago
Sharon’s son Jonni said: “We’ve had some amazing social media support which has taken our appeal to new audiences. It’s fantastic to see people getting behind our campaign so quickly.”
The family were told late last week that Sharon’s body had rejected the first stem cell transplant from an anonymous donor and that they once again had to find a match. Given the common genetic inheritance, this is most likely to come from the Ashkenazi Jewish community, which rallied to the call when the campaign launched.
The name of the campaign comes from the manner of the samples, but as well as spitting, swabs can also be taken. Blood cancer charity Antony Nolan is asking for anyone aged 16-30 to register as potential donors. Those aged 30-55 can request a swab kit from Delete Blood Cancer DKMS. Pregnant mothers can sign up to donate their cord blood.
“Think of all the people you know who are now 16, now eligible to register, to help,” said Jonni, in a direct plea. “We need you.”