Pals give blood to say thanks for ‘Super Sam’

BLOOD DONORS: Harriet Smith mother of young Lymphoma sufferer Sam Smith, Kate Sherry and Claire Varley give blood at West Bradford Village Hall, pictured with donor relations co-ordinator Neil Simms.'Photo Ben Parsons

BLOOD DONORS: Harriet Smith mother of young Lymphoma sufferer Sam Smith, Kate Sherry and Claire Varley give blood at West Bradford Village Hall, pictured with donor relations co-ordinator Neil Simms.'Photo Ben Parsons

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Brave Sam Smith owes his life to dozens of blood donors as he fights cancer.

And now his family and friends are saying thanks by giving blood at donor sessions.

Sam (eight) whose parents Ian and Becky Smith live at Rimington, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma in January and has been undergoing a gruelling series of treatments, including chemotherapy, at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.

He has had blood transfusions and other blood products no fewer than 51 times, and now he is known as “Super Sam Smith” – the slogan that is going on his supporters’ orange T-shirts.

Sam’s aunt, Harriet Smith, arranged for friends to donate blood at last week’s session at West Bradford Village Hall, and there will be another “Super Sam” session there onJuly 24th.

Harriet said: “Sam’s getting through his treatment now. He has been out of the hospital a bit more, which is good to see, but he has had a really rough time.

“We wanted to say thanks to the Blood and Transplant Service by encouraging more people to become donors.”

Donors were asked to write messages of support on little plastic balls to send to Sam.

The messages included: “My blood is yours mate,” “I’ll keep giving whilst little people like you need blood,” “Aren’t you brave...keep smiling and live strong,” “Reach for the stars,” “I’m giving my blood to help you and now I’m sending my love to get well soon” and “My 50th donation – 5th June 2013.”

The “Super Sam Smith” supporters’ team, including some of Sam’s friends from Gisburn Primary School, are running in Burnley’s “Race for Life”, the annual national event to raise money for cancer research, this Sunday.

* This week is National Blood Week, an annual campaign that aims to recruit the 225,000 new donors needed every year to maintain stocks. To become a donor, log on to www.blood.co.uk or phone 0300 123 2323.