Champion Irish rower launches urgent appeal to find bone marrow donor

One of Ireland's most-decorated rowers needs your help to find a #marrowmatch and beat cancer

Kieran Beckles
By Kieran Beckles
Paul Giblin in action

One of Ireland’s most-decorated rowers has launched the #marrowmatch campaign along with his family and friends as he bids to overcome one of life’s biggest challenges: cancer.

Paul Giblin, 31, is a 17-time Irish Senior champion, a double winner at the prestigious Henley Royal Regatta and a medallist at the World Under-23 Rowing Championships.

As if conquering one sport was not enough, the Army officer, who is stationed at Dún Uí Mhaolaíosa in Galway, enjoyed an impressive couple of seasons on the cycling circuit.

The qualified engineer rode the 2010 Rás and also competed at the World Para Cycling Championships as the sighted pilot in the tandem event, highlighting his prowess as a top-level sportsman.

However, in April 2012, Paul was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and is currently undergoing his fourth regime of chemotherapy, having also had an autologous (own) stem-cell transplant and radiotherapy.

His only chance of being cured is if a suitable bone marrow/stem cell donor can be found. This is not an easy task and his medical team is hoping to find a match on the Global Registry, the pool from which all donations are drawn.

Things are very serious for the former Irish champion as the chemotherapy treatment he is currently receiving will not cure him, it will just buy him time.

Paul’s friends are pulling together to spread awareness with a view to increasing the number of potential donors in Ireland on the Global Registry.

Their #marrowmatch campaign is reaching out to family, friends and friends of friends in a bid to significantly increase the numbers signing up to become bone marrow donors and to give people in Paul’s situation a fighting chance.

However, this is a gift that will keep on giving and which some day you or a loved one may need and benefit from. So this is where you can help Paul and thousands of others facing a similar situation by joining the #marrowmatch movement.

You can find out more information about #marrowmatch by clicking here, following marrowmatch on Facebook or follow marrowmatch on Twitter and help get #marrowmatch trending globally.

If you do go ahead and register, attend a clinic for testing and go on to become a bone marrow donor, mention this connection to a fellow rower, cyclist, colleague or friend with refractory Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in need of a suitable Bone Marrow/Stem Cell donor.

Spread the word in your communities. Every name on the register could potentially help somebody who needs that most special of all gifts – life.

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