Snooker legend Ronnie O’Sullivan is helping to find a bone marrow donor for a poorly young fan.
Libby Cotts, 12, urgently needs a transplant to cure her severe aplastic anaemia.
World number three Ronnie appealed online for help for his pals’ daughter.
In a heartfelt Instagram post, he wrote: “She is suffering from a severe form of aplastic anaemia and is reliant on regular blood transfusions. The only cure is a bone marrow transplant.”
Aplastic anaemia is a rare condition where bone marrow and stem cells stop producing enough blood cells.
This reduces the blood’s ability to clot and means not enough oxygen gets to the muscles, making sufferers fatigued.
Libby’s ordeal began on October 8 when her parents Gemma and Paul, 48, had a call from her school to say she was injured by a hockey ball.
A nurse at A&E spotted that Libby had bruises and red spots all over her body.
Later at Great Ormond Street Hospital, tests showed she had just five to 10% bone marrow.
Mum Gemma, 43, said: “She’s been having weekly platelet transfusions and a blood transfusion every fortnight to keep her condition from becoming life-threatening.”
She added O’Sullivan’s intervention could prove a life-saver for her daughter.
“Rocket” Ronnie went on to tell fans about Anthony Nolan, a charity which sends out free test kits so people can see if they might be a suitable donor.
He said: “These test kits enable volunteers to swab the inside of their cheek, send it to Anthony Nolan, who test and find suitable donors.
“The charity are in dire need of funding to be able to process the swabs and any donation, no matter how small, helps.”
Ronnie also shared a photo of Libby with her sister Sienna, eight.
Gemma, from Essex, added: “Ronnie is local so there’s a lot of people in the area who follow him on social media. He’s been absolutely amazing.”
Henny Braund, chief executive of Anthony Nolan, said: “A perfect storm of the coronavirus pandemic, and a surge of 40,000 incredible people who have been inspired to join the Anthony Nolan register in the last month – by patients like Libby – means that we’re in urgent need.”
● Join Ronnie and support the Love for Libby appeal at justgiving.com/loveforlibby.
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