Al Murray says his nephew, 7, is 'very ill but hanging in there' amid his battle with leukemia


Al Murray has revealed on Monday’s Lorraine that his seven-year-old nephew Finley is ‘very ill but hanging in there’ amid his battle with a rare form of leukemia.

The comedian, 52, gave an update on his young relative, who is battling suffering juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia, an incredibly rare form of the blood cancer that only 12 British children are diagnosed with each year.

Speaking to host Lorraine, 60, Al explained: ‘He’s an incredibly brave little lad. He’s hanging on in there. I can’t tell you he’s well, he’s very ill but he’s hanging in there.’ 

Struggling: Al Murray has revealed on Monday's Lorraine that his seven-year-old nephew Finley is 'very ill but hanging in there' amid his battle with a rare form of leukemia

Struggling: Al Murray has revealed on Monday’s Lorraine that his seven-year-old nephew Finley is ‘very ill but hanging in there’ amid his battle with a rare form of leukemia

He continued: ‘He’s seven and he wants to be at home playing football with his mates.

‘There’s been a decline in donors and contributions. The thing about blood stem cell donations is it’s dead easy. 

‘They send you a pack with swabs and you swab some cheek tissue and send it back to them.’

Speaking directly to viewers, the TV favourite added: ‘What I really want to say to people is that this is dead easy to do and you will help someone.’

Little Finley’s ordeal began last year when his parents Ben and Nicky Relf noticed he began losing weight and sought medical assistance.

He was diagnosed with juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia in September 2019 and is in desperate need of a bone marrow transplant. Just two per cent of the UK population is registered as a blood stem cell donor.

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Al’s partner Eleanor Relf is the sister of Finley’s dad Ben. 

Finley, from Haywards Heath, West Sussex, also has a younger brother named Jacob. 

So sad: Speaking to host Lorraine, 60, Al explained: 'He’s an incredibly brave little lad. He’s hanging on in there. I can’t tell you he’s well, he’s very ill but he’s hanging in there'

So sad: Speaking to host Lorraine, 60, Al explained: ‘He’s an incredibly brave little lad. He’s hanging on in there. I can’t tell you he’s well, he’s very ill but he’s hanging in there’ 

Finley’s family, including his aunt Eleanor, had been tested, but are sadly not a match. 

Al also discussed his experience with not gracing the stage everyday amid the coronavirus lockdown.

He said: ‘When this all started, I was about to go out on tour and I was like, I don’t want to go on tour, I don’t want to cut my hair. 

‘I thought I could manage without going on stage and getting acclaim from strangers but I was wrong. I’ve been doing the odd gig here and there and it turns out I really do need people to laugh at my jokes!’

In November last year, Al urged Good Morning Britain viewers to sign up to blood stem cell register after doctors diagnosed his nephew Finley with a rare form of leukaemia.  

Appeal: Speaking directly to viewers, the TV favourite added: 'What I really want to say to people is that this is dead easy to do and you will help someone'

Appeal: Speaking directly to viewers, the TV favourite added: ‘What I really want to say to people is that this is dead easy to do and you will help someone’

Explaining that Finley was having to endure a week of chemotheraphy every three weeks and needs to find a donor by Christmas, Murray said: ‘It’s the only cure. We need people to register and we need to find a match. I know there’s someone out there.’

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Murray said Finley was a ‘chirpy little lad’ and was undergoing treatment at Great Ormond Street Hospital. 

What is juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia 

Juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML) is a cancer of the blood

It affects children mostly aged 4 and younger

Between one and two percent of children with leukaemia have JMML

Since about 10% of patients are diagnosed before 3 months of age, it is thought JMML is a congenital condition

The cancer is difficult to treat and is often resistant to chemotherapy

Bone marrow transplantation is currently the best therapy available 

He told GMB: ‘I can’t imagine what his mum and dad are going through. I’m this close to it and I still find it kind of incomprehensible.

‘This isn’t just about Finley, either. Even if we don’t find a match for Finley we might find a match for someone, a dozen people, a hundred people.

‘This illness, he says I’ve got a bug in my blood that we need to squash, that’s how he sees it. He’s only six and I hope people can help us squash the bug in his blood.’

Finley’s family had found two donors who were a match, but they pulled out of the donation a few weeks previously for unknown reasons. 

Murray said signing up to the register through the charity We Delete Blood Cancer (DKMS) would only take a few minutes and could save Finley’s life. 

He added: ‘I’m eligible and look at me; I’m 51 and I’m a schlub, I’m the opposite of someone who runs marathons and I’m eligible.

‘This couldn’t be easier to do and the change you could make, you could give someone another chance and help beat blood cancer.’  

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To register as a blood stem cell donor, visit the DKMS website.    

Plea: In November last year, Al urged Good Morning Britain viewers to sign up to blood stem cell register after doctors diagnosed his nephew Finley with a rare form of leukaemia

Plea: In November last year, Al urged Good Morning Britain viewers to sign up to blood stem cell register after doctors diagnosed his nephew Finley with a rare form of leukaemia 



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