HUNDREDS of people from South Lakeland have flocked to join the bone marrow register following a heartfelt family appeal.

More than 2,000 people have signed up to the Anthony Nolan Register after the parents of 14-year-old Alice Pyne, of Ulverston, appealed for help to find a donor to save their daughter’s life.

Alice’s mother, Victoria, said the response from the general public had been ‘awesome’.

Alice, a pupil at Barrow’s Chet-wynde School, is suffering from Hodgkins lymphoma – cancer of the white blood cells – and urgently needs a bone marrow transplant.

The Westmorland Gazette carried an appeal for people to join the transplant register last month after matching tissue to cure Alice had not been found from family and friends.

A registration event was held at Barrow Football Club, where 100 people got tested, including 25-year-old Cartmel striker Jason Walker who scored the winning goal for Barrow in the FA Trophy Final.

Another event at Chetwynde School on Friday saw 978 people volunteering to be donors, and 100 participants in the annual Keswick to Barrow walk also volunteered.“Two thousand volunteers in the space of a week is just fantastic. We have been overwhelmed and it has made us feel good that we can do something,” said Mrs Pyne.

“Alice has said that it might not help her, but the donors could help someone else who is suffering, so it is still important to donate.”

Alice starts her second bout of chemotherapy, which can be aggressive treatment, at Alder Hey Hospital, Liverpool, this weekend, but Mrs Pyne said she is still smiling.

“Alice is really good this week after a difficult time last week, but she is ready for her next treatment and keeps a big smile on her face,” said Mrs Pyne.

The Anthony Nolan Trust, which maintains a database of registered donors, said the public’s response had been exceptional and might also help 16,000 other patients worldwide waiting for a suitable match.

“The response we’ve seen for Alice has been absolutely brilliant so far. Any one of the people who has joined up could be a match,” said a spokesman.

It could take up to four weeks before Alice’s family know if a matching donor has been found.

The family has organised follow-up registration clinics in Preston, Southampton, Chester, Kent and Devon, in the hope that more people will come forward.

You can keep up to date with the appeal at