Rally for Ronnie bone marrow appeal. From left, Georgia Kirkby, Megan Shove, Christie-Lee Booth, Raegan Booth, Montanna Booth, Ronnie's grandad Tommy Booth and Emma Harris.
THE FAMILY of a seriously ill youngster have thanked Islanders for their support after 175 people attended a rally for people to sign up to the bone marrow donor register.
Last week’s Rally for Ronnie at Sandown and Shanklin Rugby Club was organised in the hope of finding a bone marrow match for Ronnie Manders — a 14 month old who has juvenile myelomonocytic leukaemia — or others in need of a transplant.
Rugby club chairman Tommy Booth, Ronnie’s grandfather, said: "The event went brilliantly. We are so grateful to everyone who turned up to register. Around 100 pupils from Sandown High School came along and I thought that they were amazing.
"Young people can sometimes receive bad press but it was a delight to see so many young faces turn up and help us. They definitely helped create a positive atmosphere and I want to express how grateful I am to them as they have the best chances to be a match.
"We are pleased that we are raising awareness of Ronnie's condition. We held another rally in Redditch where 164 people turned up.
"More and more people are becoming aware of the serious illness and if we keep going to different places and targeting different people our message is going to continue spreading."
For more on Ronnie’s story, please see the Isle of Wight County Press on Friday, November 2.