A YOUNG man who donated his bone marrow to save the life of a cancer-stricken girl has been hailed as a hero.

Ioan Seaward, who lives in Clos Y Goedlan, Garndiffaith, decided he wanted to become a donor three years ago.

"My mum had seen something about becoming a donor," he said.

"She said to me that it would be a good thing for me to do. Especially as people are dying because they are not receiving donated organs."

And this month the 19-year-old went with his mum, Sandra, to London to donate his bone marrow.

Mrs Seaward said that her son's "heroic" action has saved the life of a girl with cancer.

"They told us before the operation that they had found a match in the USA," she said.

"He is a hero. He is only 19 and he has saved a little girl's life.

"She lives somewhere in America and they told us that she has cancer.

"He will be kept on as her donor for two years in case she is in need of anything else. I am so proud of my son."

And Mr Seaward added: "I am pleased that the girl's life can be made better now. I hope in a few years' time I will be able to go and visit her."

Bone marrow is the spongy tissue inside some of the bones in the body - it also contains stem cells. Bonemarrow transplants are also used as treatment for some types of cancer.

The family are now urging other people to become donors.

Mrs Seaward said: "It was very simple and quick.

"The operation was not painful. Ioan was only kept in over night.

"Only 16 per cent of donors are young males. They need more to sign up.

"It is a straight forward process. We contacted the Anthony Nolan Trust which works in the area of stem cell transplantation but there are lots of others too.

"You really ought to become a donor because you will be saving someone's life."