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Dublin: 7 °C Wednesday 13 November, 2019
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Army officer Paul Giblin is getting married tomorrow. He needs a bone marrow match by January

Paul Giblin — a champion rower — is undergoing his fourth regime of chemotherapy. Unfortunately, it won’t cure him — it will only buy him time.

Paul and Cate
Paul and Cate
Image: marrowmatch.eu

FRIENDS OF ATHLETE and Army officer Paul Giblin are hoping to help save his and others lives this Christmas — by increasing the number of potential bone marrow/stem cell donors on the Global Registry.

The 31-year-old Galway man — who is a 17 times Irish rowing champion — is due to get married tomorrow to his fiancée, Cate.

He was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in April 2012 and is currently undergoing his fourth regime of chemotherapy. Unfortunately, the treatment he’s receiving won’t cure him — it will only buy him time.

Paul needs to find a bone marrow match before January, and currently there are no matches available on the Global Registry — the worldwide pool from which all donations are drawn.

“I found out last week that I didn’t have a perfect match,” Paul tells TheJournal.ie.

“The transplant will go ahead in January with a mismatch donor. But obviously the prognosis would be a lot better with a perfect match.”

A campaign to get his story out there has been going on for “about the last four days”.

Paul’s Army and rowing pals have launched the social media #MarrowMatch campaign, in the hope of boosting the number of potential donors.

Says Paul, “it could have happened in better weeks…”

But it’s great that it’s going on.

The response from the public, he says, has been “phenomenal”.

I’m hearing the clinics have been packed today, so it’s a very very positive thing.

The Irish Blood Transfusion Service looks after registrations at its various clinics around the country. Details of how the Global Registry works are also available on the service’s website.

“This is actually creating a lot of awareness in Ireland. It’s something that people may not have known about.

“That’s one of the goals of this campaign — to increase awareness, not just for me, but for everyone. This will definitely continue after my transplant — it could save an awful lot of lives.”

Source: MarrowmatchIRL/YouTube

Paul — who’s stationed in Galway — proposed to Cate in December of last year, when his cancer was in remission for a second time.

They’re due to get married at the barracks in Dún Uí Mhaolaíosa and will spend “a few days” in Cork’s Castlemartyr Hotel, having put plans for an overseas honeymoon on hold for the moment.

One of the country’s most decorated rowers — in addition to his 17 Irish senior championship wins, Paul was also a double winner at Henley Royal Regatta, and a medalist at the World Under-23 Rowing Championships. He’s also had quite a bit of experience on the cycling circuit, and rode in the 2010 Rás.

Source: Padraig Bracken/YouTube

To find out more about the Global Registry, check out the FAQ section of the GiveBlood.ie site. For more on Paul’s story, go to the #marrowmatch website.

Read: ‘Hidden homeless’ a growing issue in Galway

Read: Another Kilkenny hurling legend bows out as JJ Delaney retires

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