Football-mad Leland hails 'special day' after bone marrow donor found

  • Tom Barton reports

A young boy from Gateshead says it is a "very special day" after his search for a match for a much-needed bone marrow transplant was successful.

Leland, aged six, was diagnosed with pre-Leukemia in September and was in desperate need of a stem cell donor - but now a donor has been found.

He said: "I feel thanks to that person who's out there and I really appreciate it.

"It might be a long time before I get back to school. I planned something with my friends and I promised them I could come but I couldn't go. But I will get to see them on Facetime because my teacher has Facetime."

His plight caught the attention of Hollywood star Ryan Reynolds, co-owner of Wrexham FC, who sent him a message of support and invited him to have a VIP experience at their FA Cup qualifier against Blyth Spartans.

The following day, Anthony Nolan - the charity that runs the stem cell donor register - began to receive more than 500 sign-ups a day - up from a daily average of just 78 per day.

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