British comedian Al Murray calls for blood stem cell donors as six-year-old nephew battles rare leukaemia
The 51-year-old performer spoke about Finley, who is suffering from juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia, a disease so rare only 12 children are diagnosed with it in the UK every year.
On the breakfast show, he said his nephew has to go through a full week of chemotherapy every three weeks at London's Great Ormond Street Hospital, and has been told he needs to find a donor by Christmas.
Mr Murray, who is has openly backed a campaign by cancer charity DKMS to boost donors on their register, urged viewers to sign up as donors to help beat blood cancer.
He told the presenters on the ITV show: "I can't imagine what his mum and dad are going through. I'm this close to it and I still find it kind of incomprehensible.
"This isn't just about Finley, either. Even if we don't find a match for Finley we might find a match for someone, a dozen people, a hundred people.
"He says: 'I've got a bug in my blood that we need to squash', that's how he sees it. He's only six and I hope people can help us squash the bug in his blood."
Earlier this year, Finley's parents started noticing he had lost weight.
After an examination, doctors discovered his spleen was enlarged and after undergoing numerous tests, he was diagnosed with juvenile myelomonocytic leukaemia.
The comedian told The Sun: “It’s a nightmare situation.
“You think things like this will never happen to you or your family. It’s hard to put into words.”
Although one person in the UK is diagnosed with a type of blood cancer every 20 minutes, just two per cent of the population is registered as a blood stem cell donor.
Following a search of the worldwide register, a match was identified, but the donor withdrew consent a few weeks ago.
Mr Murray told the Sun: “It’s obviously up to them. They may not have been well enough to do it. I have to be philosophical about it.
He added: “Time is the thing and the pressure is on. He is not getting any better.”