Red Socks Round supports little Queenslander

All Intrust Super Cup teams and referees will wear red socks this weekend to support a little Queenslander with a rare condition that requires bone marrow transplants and blood transfusions.

Grayson Little, who turns two tomorrow, is one of only a few children in Australia who has Dyskeratosis congenita (DC).

Grayson has had two bone marrow transplants and multiple blood transfusions. Currently, he requires a blood product every three weeks, so his need for blood is ongoing.

After hearing of the family’s plight through former Maroon Mitch Brennan, the Queensland Rugby League introduced the Red Socks Round to help raise awareness of the ongoing need for blood and bone marrow donors. 

QRL statewide competitions manager Dave Maiden said all 14 clubs and the game’s match officials would unite for a great cause.

“The Intrust Super Cup has an excellent footprint throughout the state and northern New South Wales,” Maiden said.

“Red Socks Round will see seven matches played in numerous south east locations, as well as Townsville, the Sunshine Coast and Tweed Heads.

“We truly hope our competition can provide another platform that leads to greater awareness about Grayson’s situation and others who need support from this service.” 

Grayson’s mum, Rachel Little, joined Australia coach Mal Meninga and rising Intrust Super Cup star Jake Turpin (Redcliffe Dolphins / Brisbane Broncos) to promote the awareness message.

The Little family. Photo: Little Grayson’s Journey with Dyskeratosis Congenita Facebook page
The Little family. Photo: Little Grayson’s Journey with Dyskeratosis Congenita Facebook page

“Grayson’s condition has no cure, but without amazing blood and bone marrow donors, it couldn’t be treated,” Little said.

“Donating blood and signing up to the bone marrow registry might only take an hour of your day, but could save someone’s life.

“We want more people to donate blood and sign up to the bone marrow registry. You’ll be saving Grayson or others who rely on blood and bone marrow to survive.”

Meninga said it was a privilege to meet little Grayson and his family.

“They are going through a challenging period at the moment, but it is reassuring to know that Queenslanders are caring people who are passionate about more than just their footy teams,” Meninga said.

“That’s why I’m confident more and more Queenslanders will continue to help out by donating blood or signing up to the bone marrow registry.”

Did you know?

  • Coming into Easter, the Red Cross Blood Service traditionally sees a drop in people donating over the Easter break, and we are calling on more donors to donate at this time. Many of us take a break over Easter, but the need for blood, as seen with Grayson, doesn’t take a break. Blood donor centres are open on Easter Saturday and Easter Monday as we need to keep the blood donations flowing, even during holiday periods.
  • One in three people will need blood in our lifetime, but only one in 30 currently gives blood.
  • Blood is also needed for a variety of other reasons, including by people who are battling cancer, or those injured in an emergency such as road trauma.
  • For more information or to make an appointment, call 13 14 95 or visit donateblood.com.au
  • Signing up to the Australian Bone Marrow Donor Registry is simple – just make an appointment to donate blood and sign up in the donor centre.
  • To join the bone marrow registry in Australia you need to be:
    • Aged 18-45
    • In good health
    • Willing to donate to anyone in the world
  • For more information about joining the bone marrow registry, please visit www.abmdr.org.au or call 13 14 95 to make an appointment to donate blood and join the registry.

Info courtesy of the Australian Red Cross Blood Service