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Moira man goes to great lengths to raise money for DBA

Jo3 Fletcher with his son Joshua who suffers from DBA (Diamond Blackfan Anaemia). Joe will be running in the London Marathon to raise money and awareness for DBA UK.

Joe Fletcher with his son Joshua who suffers from DBA (Diamond Blackfan Anaemia). Joe will be running in the London Marathon to raise money and awareness for DBA UK.

THE FATHER of four-year-old Moira boy Joshua Fletcher who suffers from the blood disease Diamond Blackfan Anaemia will take part in this year's London Marathon in a bid to raise money for the charity DBA-UK which supports both children with the illness and their parents..

Joe Fletcher will pound the streets of the capital on April 22, and hopes to realise a total of 3,000 which the organisation will use to fund research into the condition. Joshua was diagnosed with the illness when just six weeks old.

Joe and his wife Julie were told the only known cure was a bone marrow transplant. They went on to fight a lengthy battle with the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority to get the go-ahead to undergo IVF treatment to conceive a baby whose stem cells would be a match for their sons.

Once they obtained permission they conceived Jody who is 18 months old. Her bone marrow is a perfect match for Joshua's.

However since Jody's birth advances in medicine mean a transplant may not be necessary. Joshua is currently on a revolutionary new drug 'Exjade' which will improve his quality of life.

Joe is a keen marathon runner and has raised money before for the charity by taking part in the Lisburn Half Marathon.

He now wants to complete the London Marathon to show his appreciation of the support he and Julie have received from DBA-UK.

Anyone interested in helping to raise money is asked to ring Joe on 07980948054.

Ulster Star
26/01/2007