Fife Fly­ers fans asked to throw their sup­port be­hind ‘hero’ fire­fighter

Plight: Gary Dall needs help in blood can­cer bat­tle

The Courier & Advertiser (Dundee Edition) - - NEWS - jonaThan waT­son jowat­son@the­courier.co.uk

Kirk­caldy ice hockey fans are be­ing urged to join the ef­fort to save the life of a “hero” Fife fire­fighter.

Fife Fly­ers fans are be­ing asked to pro­vide a small saliva sam­ple at to­day’s game in a bid to find a stem cell donor for lo­cal fire­man Gary Dall, who was di­ag­nosed with blood can­cer last month.

The 49-year-old will die un­less a suit­able donor can be found, with Fly­ers fans be­ing asked to play their part in the public ap­peal to save Mr Dall’s life.

Fire ser­vice group man­ager Mark Bryce, also based at Kirk­caldy Fire Sta­tion, said: “Gary is a real hero who has an out­stand­ing record when it comes to as­sist­ing and pro­tect­ing com­mu­ni­ties.

“But he now needs a hero of his own and we are do­ing ev­ery­thing in our power to find that per­son.

“We will be out in force at the event this week­end, in­clud­ing many who are vol­un­teer­ing their own time in the hope of find­ing that mir­a­cle match.

“I would like to take this op­por­tu­nity to ask our com­mu­ni­ties to please, please step for­ward to as­sist a fire­fighter who has con­trib­uted so much to others.

“Any­one who joins this life-sav­ing reg­is­ter to help a com­plete stranger is also a real hero in our eyes.”

Gary, a mar­ried fa­ther-of-four, de­vel­oped myelodys­plas­tic syn­drome (MDS), a type of blood can­cer, caused by chemo­ther­apy fol­low­ing a pre­vi­ous stem cell trans­plant in 2010.

He has Crohn’s dis­ease and when the med­i­ca­tion he was on stopped work­ing seven years ago, he was of­fered the chance to take part in a clin­i­cal trial in­volv­ing a trans­plant of his own stem cells.

A fire­fighter for al­most 30 years, most of which have been spent at Kirk­caldy fire sta­tion, Gary is still re­ceiv­ing chemo­ther­apy in­jec­tions as part of his bat­tle.

Vis­i­tors to to­day’s Fly­ers game against the Ed­in­burgh Cap­i­tals will be asked to pro­vide a small swab of saliva if aged between 16 and 30, though any­body wish­ing to con­trib­ute can­not eat, drink, smoke or chew 30 min­utes be­fore­hand.

Ear­lier this month, foot­ball play­ers and staff from Raith Rovers signed up to the na­tional bone mar­row reg­is­ter as part of the bid to high­light Gary’s fight.

Pic­ture: Ge­orge Mcluskie.

Gary Dall, right, with Raith Rovers man­ager Barry Smith.

Pic­ture: Steve Mac­Dougall.

Fife Fly­ers fans watch their side take on Ed­in­burgh Cap­i­tals to­day.

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