A campaign by the family of a Walsden man who is battling cancer raised not only funds but also, importantly, donors, to its cause.
When cricket club stalwart Chris Barker’s family and friends learned that he would need a stem cell transplant they launched the Spit4Dad campaign to encourage more potential donors to join the Anthony Nolan bone marrow register.
They are now overjoyed to be able to announce that the 59-year-old’s transplant is due to take place in September after the search proved successful.
Chris himself was unable to attend the event at Walsden Cricket Club, Scott Street, as he was underoing chemotherapy treatment in preparation for his transplant.
But friends and family turned up to volunteer at the event, which was attended by his wife Jean and sons Nick and Stevie.
During the recruitment drive 37 people joined the register and £713 was raised for the charity on the day. A cheque for £215 raised several weeks earlier at a cricket match which pitted Walsden Veterans against their Todmorden CC equivalents, was presented and a cash donation on behalf of Walsden CC players was presented by Nick, James Rawlinson and Jamie Shackleton.
Other cash was raised through a raffle and from people on the day.
Also lending their support were Todmorden Community Band, who played for spectators at the day’s cricket match.
Jo Buckton, regional register development manager at Anthony Nolan, said: “Chris and his family have worked hard over the past two months raising awareness of the Spit4Dad campaign within the local community. The support for the family has been overwhelming. Chris’s story has inspired so many people to join the bone marrow register and in addition we have received generous donations which will fund our lifesaving work. On behalf of Anthony Nolan we would like to thank all those who supported the event.”
Chris’s wife Jean said: “Chris and I have been overwhelmed by the tremendous support we have received from our local community, friends and family and would like again to thank Jo Buckton and the Anthony Nolan team without which none of this would have been possible. We would urge people to continue to register on the Anthony Nolan site (www.anthonynolan.org) to continue to help save lives in the future.”