Almost 1,000 people travelled from across the country to Cookstown on Saturday to register as a bone marrow donor for little Charlie Craig.
Charlie, aged 3, has been battling Acute Myeloid Leukaemia since January 2013 and urgently requires a bone marrow transplant.
Two registration days, organised by Charlie’s family were held at the weekend, one in Holy Trinity College, Cookstown and the other in Methody College, Belfast.
In total, 971 people were registered in Cookstown while 713 were registered in Belfast.
People travelled from far and wide to the events, with some coming from as far as Nottingham, Dublin and Strabane.
The combined registration days also raised a magnificent £15,000 for the charity.
Charlie’s mum Cliodhna, who is orignally from Cookstown and his dad Fintan told the MAIL the turnout on Saturday was ‘phenomenal.’
Cliodhna said: “As a family we were overwhelmed by the support shown for Charlie during the donation drive day of last Saturday. The numbers registered and the money raised were both phenomenal and will help Charlie or someone in his position.
“A good friend told us that if she could have bottled the atmosphere she would have sent it to us, others have told us about how how they where so touched by the goodwill and generosity of people.
“Fintan and I draw a huge amount of strength from what has been done to date and what Charlie has inspired.
“Please continue with your prayers and positivity for Charlie and all of us, we believe it is really making a huge difference. Lots of Love, Fintan, Cliodhna, Charlie & Nancy.”
Charlie’s uncle, BBC Apprentice star Jim Eastwood told the MAIL the turnout for Charlie was ‘quite overwhelming’.
“It is quite overwhelming to see the turnout today. Charlie Craig is the figure head of this in that he has leukaemia, blood cancer and they have all come together to support Charlie. But it is the wider issue of blood cancer and leukaemia and how easy it is to actually donate and people are finding that today,” he told the MAIL.
“Holy Trinity College in Cookstown and Whitla Hall in Methody College in Belfast have just been inundated by hundreds of people, people who want to show their support. Not just close family and friends and the local community, but the wider community, it has really captured the imagination of the country and even through the internet, it has reached right through the world.
“There are people who have flown in from Nottingham and people driving up from Dublin and bus loads from Strabane and people who can’t make it, living in the States and Austrailia visiting the Anthony Nolan Trust and Delete Blood Cancer websites to register. It is just unbelievable and as I say, overwhelming!I think that people realise that they can make a difference. Although it is a fight for his life in Charlie’s case, a 3 year old boy who is literally fighting for his life, people can make a difference and you can be a modern day hero. How often do you get the opportunity to do that.”
If you were unable to attend on Saturday you can still register as a donor, if you are aged 16 – 30 you can register online at www.anthonynolan.org or if you are aged 18 –55 you can register online at www.deletebloodcancer.org.uk.
Or if you would like to give a donation to the Delete Blood Cancer charity, as it costs £40 to process each bone marrow registration you can donate online at www.justgiving.com/Kelly-Eastwood