Appeal to community for stem cell donor to save grandmother’s life

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Appeal to community for stem cell donor to save grandmother’s life

Urgent search to find life-saving help for Hilary Levinson, 62, who was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) in September last year

Jenni Frazer is a freelance journalist

A Leeds businessman, Adam Levinson, has embarked on an urgent campaign to find a stem cell donor to save the life of his mother, Hilary.

Mrs Levinson, 62, who is now retired, formerly worked as a dinner lady at the Leeds Brodetsky Jewish Primary School. She and her family are members of Street Lane Gardens Synagogue in Leeds, and live in the Alwoodly neighbourhood.

In September last year she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) and has been told that she urgently requires new stem cells from someone with a matching tissue type.

Adam Levinson told the JN: “My mother was suffering from arthritis and went for a routine blood test. When that showed she had a lower than normal white blood cell count, she had a biopsy and was diagnosed with AML. She had one round of chemotherapy which seemed to work, but after a third round she was told that she would need a stem cell transplant.”

The family — father Ronnie, Adam and his brother Daniel — have made contact with the Anthony Nolan Trust which operates a national register for potential donors. Anthony Nolan officials have told the Levinsons that their best hope is likely to come from the Jewish community, particularly in the 18-30 age band.

Adam and his wife have recently had their first child, Jacob, and Adam is hoping that someone will come forward to be a match and save Hilary, the new grandmother. He said: “I hadn’t heard of Anthony Nolan or stem cell transplantation before my mum was diagnosed, so I realise how important it is to raise awareness.

“The Jewish community is such a close community —  and I hope that people from all ethnic backgrounds, including Jewish people, will sign up to the register to help people like my mum”.

Anyone aged 16-30 and in good general health can join the Anthony Nolan register. It also costs £40 to recruit each potential donor to the register, so Anthony Nolan relies on financial support. To find about more about joining the Anthony Nolan register, or to find out more about the different ways you can support, visit and share the campaign using #Hope4Hilary.

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