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Lab set up in memory of Saints star celebrates 25 years of life-saving work
11:20am Thursday 17th October 2013 in News
IT’S a legacy that he would be proud of.
More than 1,000 people are alive today thanks to a specialist laboratory that was set up in memory of former Saints player Steve Mills.
He joined Steve’s daughters, his widow Jo Hill and staff to unveil a commemorative plaque at the laboratory which is based at the Southampton Blood Centre, in Coxford Road.
Steve, who played for the first team for four years, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia in 1986, aged 31 and died two years later.
But before his death he and his wife Jo began fundraising with Southampton Football Club and the public to raise funds for a stem cell laboratory, which opened at the Royal South Hants Hospital in 1989.
However, due to the growth of the work carried out by the lab, it was moved to the National Blood Centre and has so far helped save the lives of an estimated 1,500 people.
Jo said: “When we initially started fundraising, we didn’t dream that 25 years later the money would have been used to fund a stem cell laboratory and that it would help save the number of lives that it has.”
The laboratory prepares bone marrow and related products for transplantation to patients with leukaemia and other cancers and this year became a national store for cryovats – big freezers – containing stem cell products for patients.
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