Friends rally round for Joe

PUBLISHED: 11:55 18 May 2006 | UPDATED: 10:11 06 May 2010

Joe Males

Joe Males

FRIENDS of a teenager with leukaemia have raised thousands of pounds for the family. Joe Males, 15, of Old Hale Way in Hitchin was diagnosed with two types of leukaemia on Friday, January 13, but is due to have a bone marrow transplant tomorrow (Friday).

FRIENDS of a teenager with leukaemia have raised thousands of pounds for the family.

Joe Males, 15, of Old Hale Way in Hitchin was diagnosed with two types of leukaemia on Friday, January 13, but is due to have a bone marrow transplant tomorrow (Friday).

The transplant goes ahead after months searching for a match. A donor was finally found in Canada. He will give his bone marrow today (Thursday) and have it flown fresh to the UK for Friday.

Joe and his parents are currently staying at Sam's House, run by CLIC Sargent. It is a purpose built home for families of children undergoing bone marrow transplants.

On the day of the transplant Joe will go into an isolation bay for a month to prevent infection. He will have a special clean diet.

After this time he will have to stay in a hostel for two months.

A fundraising ball held on Saturday raised £9,200 through ticket sales, an auction and raffle. More than 200 people attended the event held at the Stevenage Thistle Hotel in Little Wymondley.

At the event Joe's sister Ellie read out a speech written by Joe's mum Sue, as they couldn't attend as they are at Bristol Children's Hospital.

Joe's cousin Laura Garbas told The Comet: "It was heartfelt and sincere, thanked everyone for attending and for the support they've received throughout Joe's illness."

Sue's friend Lesley, one of the organisers, said: "It will be completely up to Sue and Dave what they do with the money - our intention was to initially help them financially should they require it, then the rest is up to them. However, we had no idea that we would ever raise this much.

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