Young Boy Pens Letter To Strangers Asking For Them To Save His Dad

An eight-year-old boy has written a heartbreaking letter asking strangers to help save his dad who has myeloma, a type of blood cancer.

Maxwell McCleave's dad Peter needs a stem cell donor so that he can beat the disease, and his little boy is doing all he can to help.

Peter, from Cheshire, was told by doctors that he has just seven years to live if he doesn't find a donor. He needs a genetic match to donate some of their own stem cells so they can be transplanted into his own blood.

Credit: Supplied/Peter McCleave
Credit: Supplied/Peter McCleave

Dad-of-two and rugby coach Peter was diagnosed with myeloma just days after completing the Ironman tri-athlete challenge. He put his aching back down to the gruelling workout, but it was actually caused by the cancer.

Following the devastating diagnosis, the McCleave family set up 10,000 donors to raise awareness of blood cancer and get at least 10,000 people to sign up to the stem cell registry. So far, they have reached just over half that target.

And Maxwell is doing his own bit with a letter, encouraging people to sign up as donors and save lives, just like his dad's.

Credit: Supplied/Peter McCleave
Credit: Supplied/Peter McCleave

"My name is Maxwell McCleave and I'm in year 4 at primary school and I'm 8 years old. My little brother is Seb and he goes to the same school as me. He's in year 1 and he is 5," reads his note.

"My Dad has myeloma, which is a blood cancer that I really don't want him to have. I really want you to help Pete my dad beat his blood cancer by registering to be on DKMS's stem cell donor list.

Credit: Supplied/Peter McCleave
Credit: Supplied/Peter McCleave

"If my daddy doesn't find a stem cell match he will only have seven more years with me and I want lots more!"

Maxwell went on to discuss his dad's campaign, drawing a diagram to explain how important stem cells are.

Credit: Supplied/Peter McCleave
Credit: Supplied/Peter McCleave

"So the blue small things are the stem cells and the red is the blood. The stem cells are found in your blood if you didn't know. The blood is put into a machine which is called a dialysis machine," he penned.

"The machine takes some of your stem cells out of your blood which they put into a pot to be cleaned and put into the person who has cancer.

"You don't lose anything because your blood is then put back in to the other arm and your stem cells grow back in a few weeks.

"To the left is me with my daddy when he was first poorly. I liked his bald head as me and my brother thought he looked like Jonjo Shelvey and Newcastle United is our favourite team!"

Credit: Supplied/Peter McCleave
Credit: Supplied/Peter McCleave

Maxwell finished his letter, by writing: "Please help my daddy and sign up to be a donor, I love him and don't want him to leave. Thank you for reading my letter I hope you will help me and my daddy's campaign. Love from Maxwell McCleave."

Peter told Pretty52: "Honestly, when I read it I had a barrage of mixed emotions.

"I was immensely proud not only that he had taken the time without being asked to write such a heartfelt letter (and picture) but also because it really brought out his naturally kind nature which as his dad, I was really humbled by.

"But at the same time I hate it that he has been exposed to all this as a child. I had not appreciated how much he was aware of or maybe, how much it had impacted him.

"Jenn [Peter's wife] and I have tried to tell both the lads what we think they need to know but to shield them from the really gory details.
Goes to show that they are more aware and pick up more stuff than I gave them credit for.

"It takes a lot to get an emotional response from me usually but he blew me away."

You can find out more about Peter's 10,000 Donors campaign here and read his personal blog here.

You can sign up to the stem cell donor list and potentially save lives here.

Featured Image Credit: Supplied/Peter McCleave

Rachel Andrews

Rachel Andrews is an NCTJ trained Journalist at PRETTY52. She specialises in Fashion and Beauty Journalism, and has experience at a range of online and print publications and joined the team in 2017. Contact her -

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