I wish to raise awareness and to help find a cure for this disease. When Maddie, a close friends daughter was diagnosed last October I really didn’t appreciate what this meant. Maddie and her family have been amazing in the way they tackled her illness and thanks to a generous bone marrow donor Maddie has been given another chance. Please can I encourage as many of you as possible to give blood and get on the marrow register as you may save someone’s life. This swim is for you Maddie Molloy a truly inspirational young lady xx

Aplastic anaemia is a rare and life-threatening blood disorder caused by the bone marrow not functioning properly. In people with aplastic anaemia, the bone marrow fails to produce enough of all three types of blood cells – red, white and platelets.

Red blood cells are essential for carrying oxygen around the body
White blood cells help us fight infections, bugs and germs
Platelets are responsible for stopping us bleeding and bruising
The word ‘aplastic’ means the body’s inability to create new cells, so that tissue cannot grow or regenerate.
It is estimated that between 100 and 150 people will be diagnosed across the UK every year. That's around 2 people for every 1,000,000 of population. This deems aplastic anaemia an ultra rare disease. The exact occurrence of the disease is not known and more research is needed to establish a baseline figure.

Val Forrest