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Drivers join bid to 'Save Afonso'

9 March 2010

Drivers in the World Touring Car Championship have come together to show their support for Macau driver Andre Couto as he looks for a donor who could save the life of his six year-old son.

Afonso Couto is currently hospitalised in the Oncological Hospital in the Portuguese city of Porto after being diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukaemia back in November.

The youngster could be saved by a bone marrow transplant, although a compatible donor has yet to be found.

During the Curitiba weekend, SR-Sport drivers Gabriele Tarquini and Tiago Monteiro raced their SEAT Leon TDIs bearing a link to www.saveafonso.com, the website set up to not only try and find a suitable donor for Afonso, but also to encourage people to sign up for bone marrow registers around the world.

As well as the various drivers showing support in the Brazilian paddock, BMW driver Andy Priaulx and his charity team are to hold a special drop-in clinic at Kings Life, Guernsey on 11 March where people will be able to join the Anthony Nolan Trust Bone Marrow Register.

“When we race in Macau one of the quick local drivers I have got to know is Andre Couto,” Priaulx said. “Andre like me has a young son, but sadly six-year-old Afonso has leukaemia. For him to survive he urgently needs a bone marrow transplant.

"As soon as I get home, along with the whole family and friends, I shall be having the test to see if I could be a match. I hope that some of you out there will agree to do the same. You can visit www.saveafonso.com and learn all about how you can help this child.

“I know from personal experience what it is like to have an ill child as both of mine were born premature. Jo and myself were lucky, so I hope Andre and his family can find someone out there who can provide the match to save Afonso's life.”

Further information on the Anthony Nolan Trust Bone Marrow Register can be found by visiting www.anthonynolan.org.uk/.


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