Team Margot campaigns for more people to join the worldwide registers as potential bone marrow/stem cell donors, especially people from ethnic minorities or those with a mixed heritage.
In 2013, 14-month-old Margot Martini was diagnosed with blood cancer and required a bone marrow transplant (also known as a stem cell transplant) to stand the best chance of survival.
In order to have a bone marrow transplant, first you need a matching donor – someone with the same tissue type. So there are registers of potential donors that exist; however Margot’s mixed heritage & ethnicity proved to be the key difficulty in finding Margot her perfect match. This is because when it comes to tissue type, your race and ethnicity matters.
Family and friends came together as Team Margot to raise awareness of Margot’s plight and others desperately seeking a blood stem cell donor match.
Margot eventually found a “suitable” donor match and received her bone marrow transplant in February 2014. Unfortunately, Margot’s Leukaemia was extremely aggressive. She relapsed during that summer and passed away, aged 2 years and 2 months, on the 27 October 2014.
Margot’s family are unspeakably grateful to her selfless donor for his miraculous gift, which gave Margot extra time with her family and loved ones.
Team Margot launched Margot’s donor appeal on Christmas Eve 2013 and is credited with having run the most high profile global donor appeal anywhere in the world, embracing national and international TV, radio, print, online, outdoor media and Virgin America flights. Within the first 6 weeks of launch the charity, Delete Blood Cancer UK received over 50,000 requests for swab kits in the UK alone.
Team Margot’s efforts to date have resulted in tens of thousands of people registering as potential stem cell donors. Statistically, this means that during the next ten years, more than 500 people will now have the chance of a potentially life saving bone marrow / stem cell transplant.
The first of these potentially life saving transplants occurred by way of peripheral stem cell donation in late 2014 thanks to an anonymous donor who registered after hearing of Margot’s appeal. The second was a bone marrow donation by our friend Katrina Krishnan Doyle – click here to see her video blog.
To our understanding, there are now dozens of people who joined a stem cell register because they were inspired by Margot, or the efforts of Team Margot and who have gone on to actually donate stem cells or bone marrow; which means together, we’re saving lives.
We imagine a world where every patient in need of a bone marrow transplant is confident of quickly finding a matching donor.
We want to help save the lives of all those people who, just like Margot and our family, never thought they’d need a bone marrow transplant.
Our initial goal: 2.2 million people (c.4% of the population) on the UK stem cell register. There are just over 1 million people currently registered (1.6%). To find out how quick and easy it is to register, please click here.
We continue to honour Margot’s legacy as a permanent Foundation.
We campaign for more potential bone marrow / stem cell donors to join the register – especially people with a mixed genealogy. Margot’s mixed family background was the key obstacle to finding her a perfect match.
As a grant giving Foundation, we also support people and projects close to our hearts – specifically charities and research related to bone marrow / stem cell transplants, such as blood disorders like Leukaemia and those caring for child cancer patients.
Currently, these include: Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity, Delete Blood Cancer UK, Anthony Nolan, Shooting Star Chase Children’s Hospice and Momentum.
Everyone at Team Margot is a volunteer. Every penny raised for the Foundation will go to the wonderful people and causes we support.
Thank you so much for yours.
Together, saving lives
Team Margot Foundation Registered Charity Number: 1160236
Margot’s father, Yaser was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award at the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group Awards Dinner on Tuesday 17 May 2016.
The All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group, formed as the Parliamentary Beer Club in 1993, promotes understanding among Parliamentarians of the UK’s beer and pubs industries. Over 300 MPS and Peers of all parties are members. Around 60 UK MEPs are honorary members. The Group is supported by 50 individual brewing and licensed retailing companies, as affiliated corporate members. An officially registered all-party parliamentary group, it is the largest industry group at Westminster.
Britain’s pubs raise more than £100 million for charity and good causes each year. Indeed, from the outset, the pub industry supported Margot’s appeal for a donor and has since continued to be very supportive of Team Margot’s work. Thank you.
The Martini Family was awarded a Delete Blood Cancer UK Special Award for Outstanding Contribution at the “Let’s Make a Spark” Delete Blood Cancer UK Awards Event on 5 November 2015. This is their highest award, which recognises the significant and inspirational role played by our family in raising awareness of the lifesaving work of Delete Blood Cancer UK, acting as an ambassador for the Charity.
Vicki, who received the award, said: “When we learned that our daughter needed a bone marrow transplant and we launched Margot’s appeal, family and friends came together as Team Margot and remarkable things started to happen.
It means a lot to be recognised in this way and I’m delighted to accept this award on behalf of all my family and the wonderful people that are Team Margot. Thank you everyone again for your fantastic support.”
Team Margot is honoured to have received a specially commended award at the 2014 Anthony Nolan Supporter Awards hosted at the House of Commons, in the category of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) advocate of the year.
We consider it a great privilege to be working with Anthony Nolan and wish to congratulate all the award winners and nominees on their fantastic work.