A YORK student who is fighting Leukaemia has issued a desperate appeal to find a lifesaving stem cell donor - after being told there is currently no match for him.

Alex Haines, 21, a psychology student at the University of York, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, a type of blood cancer, in 2017.

He discovered the cancer after noticing a lump on his knee and subsequently underwent 11 months of chemotherapy treatment at a specialist hospital in London, with his weight dropping to just 45kg in the process.

After overcoming several infections, including mucositis - a painful inflammation of the mucous membranes lining the digestive tract - Alex progressed well into remission.

But, unfortunately, he suffered a relapse in June.

He said: “A routine test showed a small amount of Leukaemia cells in my spinal fluid and bone marrow. It was a huge shock. I was heartbroken and devastated to hear the news after just getting back on the road to recovery.”

Alex added that his doctor told him the best chance of a long-term cure would be through a stem cell transplant.

He said: “Both my brother Joe and sister Beth were tested to see if they were a match but unfortunately they aren’t.

“I have since joined the Anthony Nolan charity, which helps people find a donor across the world."

Alex said that while he waits for a potential stem cell transplant he has been put on a non-stop 24-hour infusion antibody treatment.

He added: “If you’re a normal, healthy person, joining the stem cell register could make a massive difference to someone like me.”

Rebecca Pritchard, head of register development at Anthony Nolan, said: “Alex was a regular uni student, whose life was knocked on its side by a diagnosis that no one would ask for.

“He’s one of the five people a day who start their search for an unrelated donor. A cure could be out there for him and we will do all we possibly can to help him find his match.

“Every single person who signs up to the register has the potential to give hope to someone like Alex who is in desperate need of a lifesaving stem cell transplant. Together, we can work towards a future where nobody is waiting for their match.”

Find out more, visit www.anthonynolan.org/Alex