Help save a little girl's life by simply swabbing your cheek in East Sheen

Richmond and Twickenham Times: Margot Martini: Needs your help Margot Martini: Needs your help

A desperate family is calling on people to swab their cheeks at a session in East Sheen to save the life of their 17-month-old daughter.

Margot Martini, who had a rare form of leukaemia diagnosed in October last year and spent 10 days in intensive care at Great Ormond Street Hospital, needs a stem cell donation from someone with a similar tissue type as hers to survive.

Her parents, Yaser and Victoria Martini, from Roehampton, have launched a campaign called to find a donor for their daughter.

The appeal for a perfect match has received overwhelming support from around the world, including personal pleas from Gary Barlow, Richard Branson and Stephen Fry.

The family is calling on people to attend a swab session at Sheen Montessori Nursery in East Sheen on Sunday, February 2, from 10am to 4pm.

People aged between 18 and 55 can take part by registering their details, swabbing their cheek and a member of the team will be in touch if there is a match with Margot or someone like her.

Caroline Portlock, of Delete Blood Cancer UK, said: “Many blood cancer patients can only survive if, somewhere in the world, someone with the same tissue characteristics in their blood is willing to donate some stem cells – sometimes called bone marrow because they originate and are formed in our bone marrow.

“That is why every single new donor counts, since it is very rare that two people have almost identical tissue types. The more people that sign up to join the register, the more people can be matched together, and the more lives can be saved.”

To register online, visit deletebloodcancer.org.uk.

Comments (3)

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3:26am Fri 24 Jan 14

Dennis R says...

If I were in the UK and within the proper age range, you can bet I'd line up for a swab. Best wishes, Little Angel. I hope you find a qualified donor.
If I were in the UK and within the proper age range, you can bet I'd line up for a swab. Best wishes, Little Angel. I hope you find a qualified donor. Dennis R

3:40pm Fri 24 Jan 14

martnal says...

What a shame we don't have a NATIONAL DNA database! This situation need never happen.
What a shame we don't have a NATIONAL DNA database! This situation need never happen. martnal

5:32pm Fri 24 Jan 14

illynillyt says...

how would a DNA database help? Surely this is about HLA compatibility, ie antigens, not nucleic acids.
how would a DNA database help? Surely this is about HLA compatibility, ie antigens, not nucleic acids. illynillyt

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