Harrow four-year-old finds lifesaving donor

Veer and his family

A four-year-old from Harrow who’s in need of a stem cell transplant from a stranger, has found a lifesaving donor within the same week as he was honoured by blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan, at a digital awards celebration.

Veer Gudhka won the John  Petchey  Young Hero of the Year award at the Anthony Nolan Supporter Awards 2020, where celebrity presenters included Oscar winner Olivia Colman and comedians Josh Widdicombe and Nish Kumar.

Veer with his ANSA

The prestigious Anthony Nolan Supporter Awards were back for their eighth year and recognised the outstanding achievements of the volunteers, fundraisers, clinical supporters and donors who help the pioneering blood cancer charity save lives.

The awards ceremony is usually held at the Tower of London, but with mass gatherings of this nature currently unable to take place there was be a digital celebration instead.

Other presenters also included TV doctor Dr Ranj, actress and author Carrie Hope Fletcher, TV presenters Ria Hebden, Joe Crowley and Lucy Siegle, actress Kellie Shirley and actor Tom Austen.

Veer’s win was announced by Trudy Kilcullen, Chief Executive of the Jack Petchey Foundation.

Nirav Gudhka, Veer’s father said: “We are so proud of Veer. He really is a brave little soldier. We hope this award will help is to encourage more heroes to come forward in the future, in the form of potential stem cell donors.
 

“We were elated to find out that Veer has secured three 90% matches, which give us a lot of comfort for when he proceeds to transplant.

“But there are so many people who struggle to, or worse, never actually find their match. That can all be changed if more people, across all ethnicities, take the super easy steps needed to register as stem cell donors.”

Henny Braund, Chief Executive of Anthony Nolan, said: “It is remarkable to see how many people support our work to find a match for those in need of a stem cell transplant. Without them, none of our life-saving work would be possible.

“Veer is only four years old. He and his family have had so much to contend with already in his life but none of this dampens their enthusiasm to create meaningful change by helping to  diversify the register.

“Through sharing Veer’s story, they’ve inspired potential donors and raised vital funds that will help other patients going through the same thing and ultimately save lives.”

Anthony Nolan is the charity that finds matching stem cell donors for people with blood cancer and blood disorders and gives them a second chance at life.

It also carries out ground-breaking research to save more lives and provide information and support to patients after a stem cell transplant, through its clinical nurse specialists and psychologists, who help guide patients through their recovery. 

To see the full shortlist, and find out more about the charity visit www.anthonynolan.org/awards