The family of a two-year-old boy with acute myeloid leukaemia has encouraged more than 200 people in Saffron Walden to join the stem cell register.

Oti Hughes was diagnosed in July last year, and underwent four rounds of chemotherapy at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge.

He went into remission by Christmas, but in February his cancer returned and he had a stem cell transplant.

Oti has reached 100 days post transplant, and his blood is now entirely made from the transplant donor - meaning the transplant was a success and his body can no longer make leukaemia cells.

Saffron Walden Reporter: Chris Wright, who has signed up to the stem cell register, with Jo HughesChris Wright, who has signed up to the stem cell register, with Jo Hughes (Image: The Hughes family)

He is now on track for a full cure, and can be declared in remission after two years.

His experience prompted his parents Jo and Terry Hughes, who also have a three-year-old son called Remy, to encourage others to join the stem cell register and help save more lives.

They held an event at Chater's Restaurant in Church Street, Saffron Walden on Sunday, September 17 - inviting visitors to sign up by having their DNA swabbed and filling out an online form.

The 'swab day' saw 219 people sign up in person, while more people who could not make the event signed up online.

Those who showed up but turned out not to be eligible still demonstrated their support and helped share the message.


Oti's mum Jo said: "So many gave us their precious Sunday morning and it was the busiest and best day and felt like such a celebration.

"There were 14 other locations nationally doing swab drives on the same day, and Saffron Walden got the most of anywhere. 

"If anyone would still like to join, they can go onto the DKMS website, a free swab kit will be sent to them in the post, then swab their cheek and send it back for free."

The family's friend Chris Wright from Saffron Walden, who signed up to the stem cell register, has recently been contacted to say he is a match for someone.

His medical checks have been approved and he is donating tomorrow (October 11) to save someone's life.

To register go to