Council leader backs campaign to help sick baby
By RACHEL HAWTHORN
THE leader of Portsmouth City Council today called on city residents to join the bone marrow donor register.
Councillor Gerald Vernon- Jackson is the latest person to pledge his support for our campaign to find baby Jasmine Andrew a bone marrow match.
As soon as he heard about the three-month-old’s plight he said he would join the register himself and actively try to recruit people as well.
Cllr Vernon-Jackson said: ‘It seems the least I can do.
‘I’ve carried an organ donor card round for years. What I don’t need, they can have. This is the same. ‘ He added: ‘I will be encouraging everyone I talk to join the register now.
‘The more people we can get to sign up to donate, the better.
‘This is something I really hope lots of people will do.’
The News launched a campaign last week to help tiny tot Jasmine, who has a rare and potentially life-threatening immune system deficiency called Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID). She is constantly vulnerable to infections and viruses and the only cure for her condition is a bone marrow transplant.
Her family made a desperate plea for readers of the News to join the register and see if they are a potential match.
Cllr Vernon-Jackson is now joining the likes of Linvoy Primus and pop duo Same Difference, in pledging his support. He is also helping us to find a venue for a special session in Portsmouth for readers to attend and become donors.
‘I will do whatever I can to help,’ said Cllr Vernon-Jackson.
Jasmine is still at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London being treated by specialists.
She is still trying to recover from a bout of gastroenteritis.
Meanwhile, The News is working with Anthony Nolan – a charity which specialises in finding bone marrow donor matches, to organise sessions across the area.
During the sessions people will be asked to give saliva samples. Dates and venues of sessions will be announced soon.