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Martini family announce 'stem cell and bone marrow awareness day'

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The family of a toddler with leukaemia have announced the launch of the first ‘Team Margot Stem Cell and Bone Marrow Awareness Day’.

To mark the first anniversary of Margot Martini’s diagnosis on 7 October 2013, her parents have today said that the first awareness day will take place on 7 October, 2015.

The day is designed to promote awareness of the need for more potential stem cell donors to join the UK and worldwide registers, including the Anthony Nolan register.

Margot’s parents, Yaser and Vicki Martini, say that the day will be designed to particularly encourage those from ethnic minority backgrounds to register, as they are currently under-represented on the register.

Anthony Nolan is currently able to find 10/10 matches for 60% of all patients but for only 20% of patients from ethnic minorities.

Margot’s parents launched a campaign to find her a donor after she was diagnosed leukaemia at the age of 13 months and told she would need a transplant.

Margot’s donor appeal in early 2014 received media coverage in 11 countries and, based solely upon Team Margot’s UK achievements, statistics suggest more than 500 people will now receive potentially life saving bone marrow transplants.

Fortunately, a donor was found for Margot and she had her transplant early this year.

Margot’s father, 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 awareness day to help promote greater understanding and to encourage more people to register as potential stem cell/bone marrow donors.”

Margot’s mother, Vicki, 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 - to 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.”

Ann O'Leary, Head of Register Development at Anthony Nolan, said: "We are delighted to hear that Margot Martini's family are establishing a Stem Cell and Bone Marrow Awareness Day.

"Team Margot have already recruited an incredible number of potential donors to the Anthony Nolan bone marrow donor register in her name, and we are sure this new project will see them signing up even more lifesavers, as well as helping to dispel common myths and misconceptions around donating bone marrow or stem cells.

“We are enormously grateful to Team Margot for all of the hard work they have already put in to raising awareness of bone marrow transplants and we are excited to work with them in this latest global endeavour."

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Archived Press release