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Last Updated: Friday, 24 June, 2005, 17:24 GMT 18:24 UK
Family's fight to save boy's life
Joe with his mother
Four-year-old Joe was diagnosed with leukaemia in March
A family who lost one member to leukaemia in 1979 are now hoping to save the life of a four-year-old boy who has a rare form of the disease.

The bone marrow register was in its infancy when Phil Cawse's brother died in the 1970s.

The Cawse family, of Maidstone, Kent, are now pinning their hopes on finding a bone marrow donor for Phil's son Joe.

They have set up a special clinic at West Borough school, where Joe is a pupil, in the hope of finding a match.

'Disbelief and shock'

Joe's mother, Sheriden Cawse, said: "Phil's brother did not have the chance of a donor transplant in 1979.

"Now there is a chance that Joe and many other patients could be saved thanks to someone's unselfish act of joining the register."

Joe has two brothers have both been tested - although they are a 100% match for each other they are not a match for Joe.

The family found out about Joe's illness in March.

Mrs Cawse said: "We went through disbelief and shock while trying to maintain a normal existence for the sake of the other boys.

"It was devastating for my husband Phil, who lost his brother.

"Leukaemia does not generally run in families so we have been extremely unlucky."

  • The special clinic at West Borough Primary, set up with the cancer charity, the Anthony Nolan Trust, is being held on 28 June from 1600 to 1900 BST at the school in Greenway, Maidstone.

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