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Devon bone marrow search to save Cumbrian tourist

26 April 10 19:27 GMT

More than 170 people from across Devon have agreed to have their DNA tested in a bid to try to save the life of a 14-year-old Cumbrian girl with cancer.

Alice Pyne, who has Hodgkin's lymphoma, was just two days into a week's holiday in Torquay when she fell ill and had to spend the rest of her stay in hospital.

The trip was arranged by Torbay Holiday Helpers Network which has set up a free bone marrow donor clinic to help her.

It will be held at Torbay's St Matthias Church on Wednesday from 1530-1900 BST.

Alice, from Ulverston, is currently undergoing a new, intensive form of chemotherapy and needs a suitable bone marrow match for the treatment to be successful.

Facebook plea

Anyone aged between 18 and 40 and in good general health is eligible to register to become a bone marrow donor.

Once they have filled in a medical questionnaire at the clinic they will be asked for a sample of saliva.

The Torbay Holiday Helpers Network (THHN) is a group of South West based businesses which offer free services such as holiday accommodation, entry to tourist attractions, cinemas, theatres and restaurant meals.

Luke Tillen, who founded and runs the charity, said: "Alice came down here over Easter on one of our holidays but only managed two days before she was taken into hospital.

"She is really poorly and needs to find a suitable bone marrow donor as soon as possible so we decided to liaise with the Anthony Nolan Trust to see if we could help get her a match.

"The session on Wednesday will only take a few minutes but I urge as many people as possible to come along - it could make all the difference."

An appeal "THHN - Alice's - Donor Recruitment Event" has also been set up on Facebook to try to encourage more people to attend the clinic.

Anyone who cannot attend the session can register on the Anthony Nolan Trust website for a home test mouth swab kit.

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