Cookstown family ‘overwhelmed’ by response to bone marrow appeal

Charlie Craig urgently needs a bone marrow transplant
Charlie Craig urgently needs a bone marrow transplant

The family of two-year-old Charlie Craig have said they are ‘overwhelmed’ by the support from the public since the MAIL highlighted Charlie’s urgent need for a bone marrow donor.

Since Charlie’s appeal was published, over 200 people in Northern Ireland registered with the Anthony Nolan Trust between Thursday 20th and Monday 24th February, compared to just seven in the same period last year.

Charlie Craig who urgently needs a bone marrow transplant

Charlie Craig who urgently needs a bone marrow transplant

That’s an incredible 2,757% increase in Northern Irish donors joining the register, thanks to Charlie’s appeal.

In the past seven days, the Mid Ulster Mail has been inundated with requests for information on how to help little Charlie.

Over 20,000 people have read Charlie’s plight on our website page, the biggest response ever to any story publsihed by the Mid Ulster Mail online.

The Delete Blood Cancer website have also reported an upsurge in the numbers of requests for sample kits from N. Ireland in the last 7 days and the family are keen to keep this momentum.

He has battling been battling Acute Myeloid Leukaemia since January 2013. The disease is especially rare in children and requires specialist treatment.

Charlie’s mum Cliodhna who is orginally from Cookstown said: “As a family we have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support towards our story, highlighting the need for more members of the public to sign up to the bone marrow donor register. We cannot show the Mid-Ulster Mail and your readers enough gratitude.

“We are asking the public to do something amazing - register as a donor and potentially save a life. It could even be Charlie’s. We embarked on this donor appeal knowing it could make a difference but have still been astounded at the response.

“Charlie is a fantastic little man with a huge zest for life; he really has a tremendous fighting spirit and we totally believe we are going to find a successful match for him and that Charlie will be cured.

“As a family we would also ask everyone, from every denomination, to continue to keep Charlie in their prayers. Thank you to everyone - Cliodhna, Fintan, Charlie and Nancy.”

The family are hosting a testing day in Holy Trinity College on March 22 and they are welcoming everyone up to 55 to come along. Alternatively people can register online at for those aged 16-30 or for those aged up to 55.