Express & Star

Margot Martini's family launch awareness day

The family of little Margot Martini has announced the launch of a day to promote the need for potential stem cell donors to join UK and worldwide registries.


A year ago today the brave youngster was diagnosed with both acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) and acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). She was just 14 months old at the time.

A worldwide hunt was launched to find a perfect stem cell match, leading to more than 50,000 people coming forward to be tested under the Swab4Margot campaign.

Finally in February a suitable donor was found and she underwent a bone marrow transplant. The following month doctors declared she was 99 per cent certain to be disease free, but tests in June revealed a small amount of ALL had returned.

Margot's parents Yaser and Vicki made the difficult decision in July to stop her treatment after medical experts told them her chances of being able to live a normal life after further treatment were slim.

Now two-year-old, Margot is living out the rest of her days at home with her loving family, but throughout her brave fight Team Margot - the group formed to support her battle - has remained committed to promoting awareness around the need for more potential stem cell donors to come forward. As a result of the group's efforts in the UK, more than 500 people will now receive potentially life saving bone marrow transplants.

Little Margot Martini with her family.

Booked to take place on October 7, 2015, the inaugural Team Margot Stem Cell and Bone Marrow Awareness Day will give particular encouragement to those of mixed race to register, as this is an under-represented stem bank.

There are 37,000 people worldwide who are desperately seeking a stem cell match and only 60 per cent of transplant recipients currently find a perfect donor.

Of those from a black, Asian or ethnic minority background, a little more than 20 per cent of transplant recipients ever find their perfect match.

All smiles - Little Margot

Yaser Martini said: "Team Margot is committed to raising global awareness around the need for more stem cell donor recruits, hence the launch of this annual international awareness day to help promote greater understanding and to encourage more people to register as potential stem cell /bone marrow donors.

Last year, Yaser shared this video to highlight Margot's plight

Vicki, who grew up in Essington, added: "You can save a life. And even if you don't, you can still gift someone more time with their family and loved ones. We are asking people to do something amazing: register as a stem cell donor. If you're ineligible to or already have, then please encourage just one more person to do the same."

For more information visit this website.

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