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Cheshire dad backs rowing challenge as he continues his search for stem cell match

A Cheshire dad is backing a group taking part in a challenge, which will help his bid to increase the number of people on the stem cell donor register.

41-year-old Pete McCleave, from Bunbury, was diagnosed with myeloma, a type of blood cancer, in 2016.

Doctors told him that without finding a stem cell match to undergo a transplant, he would only have seven years to live.

He set up the 10,000 Donors site to improve his chances of getting a match, and thanks to help from his son Max to get the message out, as well as taking part in the Crumball Rally, that has now reached 33,000.

More importantly, eight matches have been found for people who need stem cell transplants.

But Pete is still looking for his.

He said: "It makes me feel better that there are eight people out there who have been told they do have a stem cell donor match.

"Hopefully their lives have been changed immeasurably for the better.

"33,000 people sounds great, but in reality it is just a drop in the ocean."

Pete's new target is to recruit 100,000 potential donors.

As part of that, he has joined forces with Team Margot to get more people signed up.

The charity was set up in memory of Margot Martini, who died from Leukaemia at the age of two, and also aims to recruit more donors. 

Pete had hoped to join them in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge on 12 December, but will instead be waving them off from Tenerife as the team prepare to row 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean to Antigua. 

Each time they row a stroke, they want someone to register as a stem cell donor - and as it takes about 1.5 million oar strokes to complete the journey they are hoping 1.5 million people will sign up. 

Statistically there would then be over 15,000 patients who would get a potentially life saving stem cell transplant.

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