Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Three Sisters' Facebook Plea Sparks Global Rush in Donors; DAUGHTERS OF CANCER VICTIM GET AMAZING RESPONSE TO STEM CELL APPEAL'Dad Has Always Turned Negatives into Positives and That's Rubbed Offon Us'

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Three Sisters' Facebook Plea Sparks Global Rush in Donors; DAUGHTERS OF CANCER VICTIM GET AMAZING RESPONSE TO STEM CELL APPEAL'Dad Has Always Turned Negatives into Positives and That's Rubbed Offon Us'

Article excerpt

Byline: Sophie Goodchild

THREE sisters who turned to Facebook in a bid to find a stem cell match for their sick father have triggered a huge rise in new donors.

Rob Ireland, 57, has an aggressive blood cancer and his daughters Georgie, Emma and Sophie decided to launch the appeal after discovering that no one matched his tissue type.

Their campaign Give Our Dad A Bone (Marrow Transplant) has now attracted global support, with more than 6,000 "likes" on the social network site since launching last week.

Hundreds more have signed up to the bone marrow register. The Anthony Nolan charity today credited the sisters, from Wimbledon, with sparking a big increase in new donors.

Figures from the life-saving organisation reveal that 2,221 registered in the week the campaign launched, compared with just 998 the previous week. More than a third in launch week -- 851 -- were Londoners, while just 299 from the capital registered the week before.

Sign-ups on Facebook soared from 89 to 807.

Georgie, 23, revealed that she and her sisters -- business student Sophie, 26, and account Continued on Page 5 Continued from Page 1 manager Emma, 28 -- had initially felt "helpless". But, she added, their father's life-long positive attitude inspired them to act and launch the appeal -- backed by mother Melanie but kept secret at first from Rob.

She said: "Dad has lived life by turning negatives into positives and making people smile and it seems that his persistent use of the words 'positivity' and 'initiative' have actually rubbed off.

"At first we all felt helpless but then realised how simple it is to save a life by joining the Anthony Nolan register.

"We thought, 'Wow, there's something we can actually do to help'. We never expected to have this level of support. Dad was blown away when we showed him the page."

Well-wishers from around the world have messaged the sisters, while some have tweeted selfies with their salivatesting kits to check whether they are a match, using the hashtags #GiveOur-DadABone and #SpitAndSave.

Doctors first discovered that Rob had the rare and aggressive disease in June last year after he complained of weight loss and night sweats. …

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