A donor has been found for Lara, sister of a Cambridge undergraduate
Lara says in the video, “Very excited to tell you some great news.”
A donor has been found for Lara, the 24 year old student who was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia in December.
This video was shared on the Match4Lara Facebook page earlier this evening:
The identity of the donor will remain anonymous due to regulations over patient-donor confidentiality. It is estimated that the stem cells transplants will start in March.
Supanya, Lara’s mother said, “As a mum, I feel pure relief as we knew the odds were stacked against Lara”, adding “whoever the donor is, they will never, ever know how grateful I am. The transplant is still a few weeks away and I wish I could wrap them in cotton wool to keep them safe.
“We know we have a long road ahead as a transplant is an extremely serious procedure, but knowing there is a good match for Lara is a weight off our shoulders that we desperately needed.”
An international campaign to find a match for Lara was started by her family. The Match4Lara campaign sought to diversify and increase the donor registry so that those in need of a stem cell transplant have a better chance at finding a donor.
Lara’s mixed race heritage meant that her chances of finding a matching donor were low. When the campaign started, only 3% of donors on the worldwide bone marrow registry were mixed race, and of that number only a fraction were, like Lara, Asian-European.
The campaign also saw a huge fundraising campaign for Anthony Nolan, the charity that helps people with blood cancer.
Seb Casalotti, Lara’s younger brother, was a huge part of this campaign, organising donor registry drives all around the country, as well as raising money for Anthony Nolan.
Seb, who studies Medicine at Magdalene, spearheaded a campaign at the university to get more donors on the registry. On one day alone, the Cambridge Marrow drive signed up 656 people.
The Match4Lara campaign estimates that over 20,000 people worldwide have joined the stem cell register as a result of this campaign.
Seb said, “This campaign was hatched around the dinner table and we never expected it to receive such incredible support – we were inspired by the Match4Aary campaign, who is still waiting for a match, so we need people to keep signing up to registries worldwide.”
Lara urged people to continue to sign up to the donor registry in light of this fantastic news.
Lara ended the video saying, “I know that there is a long road ahead but I want to thank every single person who has been behind the Match4Lara campaign.”