AN engineer battling a rare form of cancer is appealing for a bone marrow donor to come forward to save his life.

Robert Hayhurst, 27, has been told the transplant is his best chance of survival after being diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia.

This Saturday will see the start of a public campaign to see if anyone from Pendle and Burnley could hold the key.

He has also undergone tests at St James Hospital in Leeds to see whether there is a match in his immediate family.

Medics from the Anthony Nolan Trust will be on hand at New Road Community Centre in Earby from noon to take saliva samples from would-be donors.

Robert, of Green End Avenue, Earby said: “This was all the idea of my girlfriend, Kirsty Muldoon, and it’s just taken off from there.

“I was first diagnosed last June, and I had chemotherapy and we thought it had gone away.

“But in March I was told that it had come back.

“The doctors told me that this was best option I had to keep it away and this is what we are going to try and do.”

Currently he is partway through a second series of chemotherapy and will be returning to Bradford Royal Infirmary for treatment next week.

The first sign of anything wrong was when Robert found himself with a throat infection which he could not shake off.

He had been attempting to join the Army, at the time, and was puzzled when he failed a military fitness test.

Last summer he had four chemotherapy sessions and it initially appeared he was in remission, and able to return to work as a machinist at a Skipton engineering firm.

But then he was given the news the cancer had come back.

Friends have now devised the ‘Marrow for Bob’ campaign and are planning a series of fundraisers around the West Craven area.

Raffle tickets, with prizes including passes to Intershape Fitness in Colne, vouchers for Robert Brannon Hairdressing, a Co-op hamper, Thornton Hall Farm tickets and an evening meal at the Old Stone Trough in Kelbrook.

Robert has thanked family and friends for their ongoing support, especially the hard work already carried out by Kirsty.

Donors on Saturday must be aged between 18 and 40 and in good health. The clinic will be running until 2pm.

If people are unable to attend the session then they can still register with Anthony Nolan by providing a saliva sample in a sealed tube.

For more details regarding how to do this log on to

Around 2,000 people per year nationally are diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia each year.

Abnormal blood cells are generated in the bone marrow and the condition can also lead to anaemia and heavy bruising.