Dad of inspirational fund-riaser Liam Fairhurst does his bit for platelet donation drive

PUBLISHED: 15:45 11 August 2012

Mark Fairhurst prepares to donate platelets

Mark Fairhurst prepares to donate platelets

Archant

SOHAM resident, Mark Fairhurst, dad of inspirational fund-raiser Liam, sought to return the favour of those who had helped to save his son's life by giving platelets for the first time at the Cambridge Blood Donor Centre.

Mr Fairhurst, decided to sign up become a platelet donor on the back of a Star Radio promotion to recruit more donors which took place throughout May.

Mark said: “My son, Liam, had his life saved on several occasions with blood and platelet donations when he was undergoing chemotherapy at Addenbrooke’s Hospital.”

Liam died aged just 14-years-old in 2009 having been diagnosed with a soft tissue cancer aged just 10.

Despite undergoing numerous rounds of treatment, Liam raised a phenomenal £340,000 for various children’s cancer charities and the Liam Fairhurst Foundation has been set up to continue his legacy.

Mark initially gave a platelet sample at the Star Radio recruitment event and described the process on the day as “very easy and friendly”.

He said: “Forget about any fears of needles, this is an easy way to be a hero to someone out there who could die without getting blood or more importantly the platelets that they need.

“A few minutes of your own time is nothing compared with the life changing/saving opportunity it will give someone else. Forget wondering ‘what if’ and go out and do”.

Platelets are tiny cells in the blood which help to stem blood loss by enabling clotting and crucial supplies only have a seven day shelf-life. Platelet transfusions are often needed for very ill patients whose bone marrow isn’t working properly, including cancer or leukaemia sufferers undergoing chemotherapy.

If you are interested in becoming a platelet donor, a sample to see if your platelet count is high enough will be needed. You can give a sample at any blood donor session or arrange to come into the Cambridge Donor Centre please call 01223 588001 or e-mail: Donorcentre.Cambridge@nhsbt.nhs.uk to arrange a suitable time.

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