Bone Marrow Testing Added To Rugby Match Program

The West Country’s rugby community is rallying together to find a bone marrow match for Ellis Joseph, a player from Bristol team Old Redcliffians, who has been diagnosed with leukaemia. Despite the need for a bone marrow transplant, a suitable genetic match has not yet been found for 27-year-old Joseph. In an effort to find a potential lifesaver, Gloucester club Longlevens RFC is urging supporters to get tested during a charity match against South Western Ambulance Service this Saturday. Testing involves a simple swab in the nose and mouth, similar to a COVID-19 test, and takes only two minutes.

Finding a match for Joseph has proven difficult due to his mixed heritage, and he is in need of a stranger who is a good match. Former Old Redcliffians player Paul Watson is instrumental in organizing the campaign for a bone marrow match, emphasizing that it is crucial to find a match for Joseph at a young age. Currently, only 0.5% of the UK’s registered stem cell donors are of African Caribbean and mixed heritage. The ideal candidates for testing are individuals between the ages of 16 and 30, but testing can also be done on those up to 55 years old. Interested individuals can visit Longlevens RFC on Saturday starting from 12:00 BST for the testing process.

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