Hundreds take part in Margot Martini donor swab day

They wore bows in their hair and even the men had their nails painted pink. It was all to support a flamed-hair little girl who has stolen the hearts of thousands of people across the world.

Yesterday an event called ‘Swab for Margot Day’ was held at the Mount Hotel in Tettenhall Wood.

It was all to get more people signed up to the blood cell donor list.

Wolves legend Steve Bull was among the 400 people who attended to see if they could help other families in a similar situation to that of young Margot.

Margot Martini’s battle with leukaemia has been seen by millions on social networking sites as the campaign team driving the message of ‘delete blood cancer’ have told of her bravery battling a rare form of leukaemia.

The 18-month-old’s condition is so rare that doctors say they have only seen three types of such cases in 10 years.

Despite this, earlier this month a matching donor was found for the youngster and she underwent treatment late on Friday at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London.

Her parents, Yaser and Vicki, have spoken of their experience campaigning to save their little girl’s life.

Appeal – Margot Martini
Appeal – Margot Martini

Yaser said: “She is such a brave little girl. She’s a little firecracker and we’re starting to see her character come out.

“She has two doting brothers in Oscar, who is six, and Rufus, who is five, and they speak to her through FaceTime on the phone.

“They play peek-a-boo with her but they are just beginning to realise the situation.

“We don’t hide it from them, they make the best of the situation through that, as well as Skype.”

He added: “We have been told to expect six to eight weeks before we know the operation is a success. This is only day two.”

Yesterday’s event saw raffle prizes donated by businesses, including Wolverhampton-based Diffusion.

There were also beauty treatment stalls and cakes on sale, as well as pink bows that were being worn by the volunteers.

The bow has become synonymous with Margot after the picture of her red hair and bright eyes struck a chord with people across the world.

Vicki, who grew up in Essington, South Staffordshire, said: “We haven’t lived as a family in the Midlands but we still get terrific support from my hometown.

“My sister Charlotte has always been here and there are other members of the family, friends and old school mates who have backed us, like today.

“They have all been part of the campaign and have supported us.

“Something which myself and Yaser have felt is that if you are prepared to take a blood donation you should always be prepared to give a blood donation. It’s about planning forward.”

Almost 14,000 people joined the Facebook page Team Margot and 50,000 people have registered with charity Delete Blood Cancer to see if they could help Margot by requesting swabbing packs.

Steve Bull was one of those who donned a ‘Team Margot’ T-shirt as 60 volunteers helped people register for the donor list.

He called for more regular registration events to prevent a shortfall in matching donors.

The former England international said: “As soon as I heard about this appeal, no-one had to say any more, I was straight here and I just want to do what I can.

“People should be getting off their backsides and getting registered.

“They need something like this, every Sunday across the whole of the UK, people registering for the donor list so that we’re not having to appeal for someone to come forward.

“It would be a case that a match is already there but sadly it takes what happened with Margot to give people a push.”

Margot’s family has been keeping people updated on her progress via the Team Margot Facebook page.

Yesterday, they posted their thanks to everyone who turned up at the donor registration day.

In a message they said: “Statistically, given what Team Margot has achieved since our donor appeal launched on Christmas Eve, there are likely to be around 50 people each year for the next 10 years who will receive life saving stem cell transplants.

“This statistic is based upon the estimated total number of registrations with the charity Delete Blood Cancer UK and applies to the registrations generated in the UK alone.

“The more people that request and return their swab kits, the more lives will be saved. We are making a significant and meaningful impact and are helping save the lives of many people just like Margot.”

Celebrities have also backed Margot’s appeal, with many donning pink wristbands in support.

Sir Trevor McDonald and Esther Rantzen have been among those to show their support, as well as Gary Barlow, Stephen Fry and Catherine Tate.

Delete Blood Cancer UK was launched in 2013 and aims to increase the pool of registered stem cell donors.

It comes as statistics reveal someone is diagnosed with blood cancer in the UK every 20 minutes.

Yaser said that since they launched their appeal, statistically 50 people each year will received life-saving stem cell transplants for the next 10 years.

The figure is based on the number of people who have registered for donations.

People can still register for the donor list by logging on to www.deletebloodcancer.org.uk

Comments for: "Hundreds take part in Margot Martini donor swab day"

Thehoffsleftsock

Good luck to margot and family, fingers crossed for u all. I was there yesterday, biggest stigma is that people think it is painful, i was not aware until yesterday that you can donate 2 ways, one is blood, how easy is that, and the other is a hip scrape, whilst u are asleep, which you will end up with a bruise, and as a parent, and looking at sweet little margot's smile, its a no brainer, everyone get off your backsides, it could be your children who may need help one day.