PRIME Minister David Cameron has labelled the Mail’s Take Five Minutes campaign as ‘excellent’.
In an unprecedented move, the country’s leader got in touch to praise the efforts of the paper and cancer survivor Katherine Sinfield as part of continued efforts to boost the number of people registered to help save lives through the donation of blood and organs.
He described the campaign as ‘vital’ and urged people across Burton and South Derbyshire to ‘come forward’.
He said: “I’m delighted to back this excellent campaign by Katherine and the Burton Mail and I know that Burton MP Andrew Griffiths is a big supporter of the efforts made to encourage people to come forward as potential bone marrow donors.
“Leukaemia bone marrow transplants have better outcomes if the donor has the same tissue type as the person who is receiving the donation, which is why the Mail’s campaign is so important.”
Mr Cameron’s praise comes after the Mail launched the campaign in a bid to save the life of 33-year-old Katherine Sinfield, of Balfour Street, Burton.
Diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML), she was told the only way she would live is that if she secured a bone marrow transplant.
The Mail asked readers to spare five minutes to donate blood and register as a bone marrow donor. Thankfully, two months later a donor was found.
He added: “It is great to hear that a donor was found for Katherine and she is now doing well following her transplant, but I hope the campaign can find donors for the many others battling Leukaemia who are awaiting a potentially lifesaving individual to come forward to their aid.”
Mrs Sinfield struggled to contain her joy after learning that the Prime Minister had backed her efforts.
She said: ““I’m thrilled that the ‘Take Five Minutes’ campaign has now received recognition from the Prime Minister.
“When the campaign started, I said that it wasn’t a campaign for me, but for every unfortunate patient who faces the news that they need a transplant to survive.
“It’s great to see that we have achieved so much in such a small amount of time, but far more needs to be achieved. We’ve only just started to scratch the surface.”
Mr Griffiths told the Mail: “I am delighted that the Prime Minister has recognised the importance of the Take Five Minutes campaign and the role played by the Burton Mail in raising awareness of this vitally important issue.
“Yet again the Mail has shown it is a newspaper they champions the causes of our community and this work has now come to the attention of Mr Cameron.”