Donor drive inspired by Margot Martini seeks Devon's potential life savers
PUBLISHED: 13:21 30 January 2015 | UPDATED: 10:25 02 February 2015
People in Devon are being urged to take a simple test on Saturday that will tell them if they could save a life.
The donor drive at St Andrews Church, Royal Parade, Plymouth, is inspired by the story of Margot Martini who was diagnosed with a rare form of leukaemia aged 14 months.
A match for a vital bone marrow transplant could not be found within her family and led to a worldwide campaign to find a suitable match.
Although a perfect match was not found for Margot, a ‘good enough’ match was found and Margot underwent a bone marrow transplant in February 2014. Initially it was a success and Margot began to recover, but a few months later the transplant failed. Following a further course of unsuccessful treatment Margot’s family was told there was nothing more that could be done to save her. She died in October 2014 aged two.
Lucy Clark has been inspired by Margot’s story to organise the donor drive in Plymouth this weekend.
She said: “Margot’s story has totally touched my heart and I want to do something to show support to her amazing family and show that her life was not in vain and that she continues to make a difference.”
Explaining the donor drive she said: “This is an event that people can attend to register to become stem cell donors.
“It’s a very quick, easy and painless process and has the possibility of saving someone’s life. If you’re aged 17-55 and are in good general health, a simple swab of your cheek will tell if you’re a match and you could save a life.
“Every 20 minutes someone is taken ill with blood cancer and there are more than 37,000 people worldwide in desperate need of a life-saving bone marrow transplant. Yet in the UK less than 1.5% of the population is on the stem cell register.
“It doesn’t cost a penny to register as a stem cell donor but it does cost Delete Blood Cancer UK (Registered Charity No:1150056) £40 each time someone registers as a potential donor.
“As part of the Plymouth Swab for Team Margot we will also be hosting some fundraising activities such as a raffle and selling teas, coffees and cakes.”
The donor drive will take place on Saturday 31 January at St Andrews Church, Royal Parade, Plymouth between 10.30am and 4pm.
To find out more visit their website