Hollywood star Penelope Cruz urged the public to register as bone marrow donors as she visited an eight-year-old boy battling leukaemia.
Christmas came early for youngster Joe Cawse from Maidstone, Kent, who needs a donor, when he met Cruz.
The star is joining the Anthony Nolan Trust’s national campaign to encourage people to join the charity’s bone marrow register.
The Trust arranged the meeting between Cruz and Joe after the actress met their courier on a bone marrow mercy dash for another youngster, on a flight from Madrid to London.
Cruz wanted to help other patients who could not find donors.
She said: “I was surprised to discover there are two different ways to donate bone marrow and the second way is a much easier, less invasive process than I had ever imagined. If only more people in the UK knew that there is a method of donating bone marrow that is pain free.
“I urge you please, please register to be a donor with the Anthony Nolan Trust.
The Anthony Nolan Trust is urging people aged 18 to 40 to join its register.
For further information visit www.anthonynolan. org.uk or call 0901 88 222 34.