Lara Casalotti, an incredible young woman who inspired over 100,000 people to join the stem cell register, has sadly passed away.
Lara was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia in December 2015. Due to Lara’s Thai-Italian heritage, she faced a “needle in a haystack” search, and in January 2016 the #Match4Lara campaign began, urging people to join the Anthony Nolan stem cell donor register.
The #Match4Lara appeal worked with donor registries in the UK, Thailand, America, Italy and beyond to appeal for more people from mixed race and ethnic minority backgrounds to sign up as stem cell donors.
Following news about the death of Lara Casalotti, Henny Braund, Chief Executive of Anthony Nolan says:
‘We were all devastated to hear of Lara’s death and our hearts go out to Supanya, Stefano, Seb and all who keep Lara in their hearts.
‘Lara was a friend to many of us at Anthony Nolan. She spoke eloquently about her own search for a matching stem cell donor, made more challenging by her mixed Thai and Italian ethnicity. Lara’s openness, supported by her family and friends, inspired an outstanding 100,000 people to realise their own lifesaving potential by joining the Anthony Nolan stem cell donor register. Her family have also done tremendous things for the charity, including volunteering and helping to recruit science graduates to help our research.
‘That, for Lara, her stem cell transplants weren’t the answer deepens our resolve to ensure everybody receives the best chance of life, regardless of their ethnicity.’