An Ironman athlete fighting incurable blood cancer says he is delighted by the response from Dorset Echo readers, who signed up to the stem cell register after reading his story.

Peter McCleave, 41, who took part in the triathlon in Weymouth, was diagnosed with myeloma aged 39 and was given seven years to live – unless he can find a stem cell donor.

The dad of two said he is ahead of schedule to hit his target of 10,000 signups, and will keep going until he reaches his ultimate goal.

Four people with the condition have already found donors as a direct result of Peter's campaign - however he is still searching for a match.

Currently, only two per cent of the UK’s population are on the register - despite the process being free, quick and painless.

The triathlete believes this is a positive sign that a match is out there somewhere, and has said it is "just a numbers game" until a suitable donor is found.

Mr McCleave is now planning to embark on a "hairbrained" scheme to raise awareness of the stem cell register.

His plan is to take on the 'Crumball Rally' - a three-day 'banger' rally through France to Italy.

And he is planning to have the car - which must cost no more than £200 - sprayed with the stem cell campaign logo.

"Half the fun is not knowing whether you'll break down", he joked.

"It should be a good laugh - we're getting dressed up as Cannonball Ken and Burt Reynolds".

Mr McCleave said he has also been giving talks at schools and colleges to spread the word.

"I believe my own network is now at capacity, so I'm trying to reach as many new people as possible", he added.

"Often, the talks are met by a stunned silence but there's always a real energy to want to help.

"Everybody wants to come on board as soon as they realise how easy it is to register as a potential donor".

"I just want to say a huge thanks to readers of the Echo for their response - already the list of names has grown way beyond our targets".

To find out more about the process, or to add your name to the list of people willing to help someone with blood cancer, visit

To read more about Peter's story visit