1. ITV Report

Young cancer survivor meets donor who saved his life

The moment a 13-year-old cancer survivor met the man whose bone marrow donation saved his life has been captured on video.

Jack Withers from Walsall was just 10 years old when he was told he had six months to live.

He was diagnosed with a form of blood cancer, called MDS, at Birmingham Children's Hospital in 2015.

Jack during treatment at Birmingham Children's Hospital Credit: DKMS

A donor from Germany, 27-year-old Michael Merten, camed forward to save Jack's life.

The moment the pair met for the first time was filmed at cancer charity DKMS's fundraising gala in London.

Jack and his donor were unable to meet for a set amount of time, due to strict donation rules.

Jack and his family attending the gala in London Credit: DKMS

Jack's twin Emily had been diagnosed with the same condition eight years previously.

Their older sister was a match and was able to give her a life-saving donation - but she was not a match for Jack.

We were told there and then that he would only have six months to live.

That was never an option in my head, I gave birth to three children and three children were here to stay.

– Jo Withers, mother
Jack Withers and Michael Mertens after meeting on stage Credit: DKMS

The family managed to find Mr Merten through an international database of donors.

Our mission to create a future, in which as many patients like Jack are treated successfully and survive blood cancer.

Signing up is easy to do. Register as a potential lifesaver online at to receive your home swab kit. It takes a few moments to swab. When you return your swab kit you go on standby to help save someone’s life.

– Katharina Harf, DKMS