July 30, 2019

#LiveYourLife 2019

Screenshot 2019-07-30 at 11.57.45
Margot with Grandma Annette 19.10.14

Margot with Grandma Annette 19.10.14

with Franca on the Great Wall of China in 2011

with Franca Knowles MBE on the Great Wall of China in 2011

if you’re already on the register, please nominate a friend & encourage ‘Just One More’ to do the same 

A few days before Margot died, I wrote this blog post:


Reading it back, I note the following words in particular: “It’s abundantly clear that Margot loves life and she wants to live !”

On 7 November 2014, eleven days after Margot died, my friend Franca Knowles also passed away. Franca was a remarkable person who had a real zest for life, coining the phrase “Live Your Life” which became a creed for the company she helped grow, Beds and Bars. 


Keith with Franca

In her memory, her husband, Keith declared Franca’s birthday “Live Your Life

Margot, July 2014

Margot, July 2014

Day”, a day when company employees could take the day off to celebrate life with their families or in support of a charity.

Live Your Life Day celebrates Franca’s life & what she stood for and it’s set on encouraging more people to join the worldwide stem cell registers, by engaging the 900+ Beds and Bars employees, their customers and supplier networks to register as a stem cell and bone marrow donors. 

30 July is Live Your Life Day; this is the fifth consecutive year that Beds and Bars have supported Team Margot Foundation and our work means that every week a patient receives a potentially life saving bone marrow transplant.

Today we are holding our sixth donor registration event in recent days at Belushi’s, 189 Greenwich High Road, London SE10 8JA from 3pm to 9pm. 

Click here to start your registration. Thank you

Click here to start your registration. Thank you

Please join us and sign up to the stem cell and bone marrow register – no appointment necessary, just turn up.

Screenshot 2019-07-30 at 12.36.15

Click here to download Tom Kerridge’s Marie Rose Langostine

Over 700 pubs and restaurants have supported Pinkspiration Week, alongside celebrity chefs, award winning mixologists, bloggers and writers and hospitality trade bodies.  

Thank you so much to everyone for supporting our work, it’s wonderful that so many have embraced the cause and made it their own.

In the last few days we have triggered hundreds of new registrations both in person and online & are on our way to achieving our target, but we need your IMG_2207help !

And if you’re already on the register, please nominate a friend & encourage ‘Just One More’ to do the same. 


Team Margot
Together, saving lives

Posted in: Journal
July 25, 2019

Pinkspiration Week (23-30 July) #werowyouregister


233A41B5-3E4D-4323-99AC-D25088C5ECAE94971D13-945C-4F58-B81B-CFBD693A2449’Pinkspiration Week’ marks the official launch of our Atlantic Campaign: #WeRowYouRegister and we have had a superb start to the week’s activities – thank you in particular to the following who have hosted us over the last three days:

The Three Tuns, Reading

The Punchbowl, Mayfair

RAF Marham on ‘Families Day’

We have many more registrations lined up for next week at:

Oasthouse, Manchester and
D174AFEA-869E-4D86-A68A-9F0EB1C1259CBelushi’s, Greenwich
 for ‘Live Your Life’ celebrations


Beds and Bars are celebrating Live Your Life Weekend in support of Team Margot and we’ll all mark Live Your Life Day on Tuesday at Belushi’s Greenwich

It’ll take 1.5 million oarstrokes to row across the Atlantic Ocean and we want 1.5 million people to register as stem cell and bone marrow donors.

If we succeed in reaching this target, it will mean a doubling of the UK registers and statistically 15,000 patients who get a potentially life saving transplant. Thank you to the 700+ pubs, restaurants & hostelries for supporting ‘Pinkspiration Week’. Also huge thanks to UK Hospitality, the British Institute of Innkeeping and the British Beer and Pub Association for your support too.

We’re all ‘pulling together saving lives’.



Margot’s brothers, Oscar & Rufus help out at a registration event this week

BFEABD82-523E-484A-B6CF-E7FD08794924Unlike many charities, we aren’t asking people for money 💵
Instead, we want people to please go to:


and click the link to start your registration. Once you’re finished, please encourage others to do the same.

Thank you 🙏

Team Margot Atlantic Rowers
Pulling Together Saving Lives

The story so far (scroll down for our video blog) …



Thank you 🙏  to Yianni & all the fantastic team at Yiannimize 💪 for their fabulous wrapping and for these brilliant videos:

Posted in: Journal
April 28, 2019

What’s it like to actually donate ?


Donors talk about their stem cell & bone marrow donation experiences



Sam Bell

Sam Bell

Tom [pictured – click here for his story] is just one of many people who signed up as a potential bone marrow donor because of Margot and went on to donate.

On average, there’s someone like Tom every week, who registered because of Margot or because of the efforts of Team Margot and who then goes on to donate peripheral blood stem cells or bone marrow.

These donations give hope and a second chance at life to patients, for whom there are no other options.


Tessa Roberts

Tessa Roberts


(L to R): Judy Leden, peripheral stem cell donor; Nadia; me; Katrina Krishnan Doyle, bone marrow donor

We love hearing these donor stories, however the vast majority of the donations are anonymous, so we always love to herald the few where the donors are willing to share their experiences.

Listen to Katrina talk about her experiences as a bone marrow donor, which is the much less likely form of donation.

On behalf of all the patients & their families & loved ones, THANK YOU and not just to Tom and all the donors listed here but also to EVERYONE who has joined the stem cell register & who supports Team Margot !

Statistically, we are told by DKMS UK that there will be more than 500 people, over 10 years, who will now receive a potentially life saving bone marrow transplant, thanks to the work of Team Margot, which is amazing.

Rajbinder, donating her peripheral blood stem cells

Rajbinder Kullar

Screen Shot 2017-02-19 at 23.25.09

James Payne

Team Margot stem cell & bone marrow donor stories – click below to read more:

Rajbinder Kullar (peripheral stem cell donor)

James Payne (peripheral stem cell donor)

Ros Mafi (peripheral stem cell donor)

Judy Leden MBE (peripheral stem cell donor)

Katrina Krishnan Doyle (bone marrow donor)

Alexandra Casley (peripheral stem cell donor)


Alexandra Caseley

Alexandra Caseley


Ros Maafi

Ros Mafi

T H A N K   Y O U  




TM - Picaddily Margot
Supported by Mayor of London

Posted in: Journal
February 21, 2019

We Row. You Register.


Dear Team Margot Supporter

Five years ago today, my daughter Margot received her bone marrow transplant, thanks to an anonymous male donor from Germany. Whilst the transplant didn’t succeed, our family is nevertheless unspeakably grateful to the anonymous bone marrow donor for his gift of hope and the extra time we enjoyed with Margot.


The Team Margot Celtic Challenge crew at the airport, on our way to Arklow, Ireland for the start of The Celtic Challenge 2017

We usually mark this time by reviewing the charity’s activities for the previous year, however today we are instead looking to the 12 months ahead, which will be dominated by… rowing !


Team Margot has twice entered a mixed rowing team into the Celtic Challenge, a 95 mile rowing race across the Irish Sea. Our first attempt was thwarted when the race was cancelled because of stormy weather, however we made the most of all the training by winning the time trials around Aberystwyth harbour !

In 2017 we were one of 14 boats that started the race, only to be forced to retire two thirds of the way across, along with 9 others. So, this year 12 of us are again heading out to the race starting point in Arklow, Ireland over the May Bank Holiday weekend, with a view to completing some unfinished business – third time lucky ! 🤞


Martin Beaumont

Jack's brakfast snapOur skipper and team motivator throughout has been Martin Beaumont, who initially telephoned me, right out of the blue, in January 2014, when we were in the midst of Margot’s appeal. Martin is a father to two boys, who are a similar age to our two eldest and he’d heard about Margot’s appeal from other parents at our children’s school.

He empathised with our situation and as is his way, quickly came to the point: “Tell me how I can help”. It was immediately clear to me that Martin was a “doer” and I think it’s safe to say that I’d never met anyone quite like him before.

I explained that what we really needed was more potential bone marrow donors, which required getting people to join a register; the process is actually very simple, however in order to stand a chance of being helpful to our daughter, I explained that we really needed this to happen on a large-scale.

And quickly.

Metro 24.1.14bTea with Margot Independent on SundayWe soon met and thereafter, we literally had three more brief telephone conversations before a national print and online media advertising campaign launched, with full page, half & quarter page adverts in every national newspaper and with appearances across all digital channels. I later learned that Martin had formed a small team of school parents, including a creative director James Howard-Vyse and advertising executive Caroline Foster Kenny to activate this initiative, something that might have otherwise cost around £250,000.

This media campaign was precisely what we needed at the time and the impact that it had was a hugely positive boost, helping to sustain the momentum that had already been created and sparking other opportunities within the national TV, radio and online media to spread the message further afield. In the event, Margot’s appeal saw over 50,000 people request swab kits online in the UK alone and her appeal appeared in the media of more than a dozen countries around the world, during that six week period.

Martin and his family became our good friends and after Margot’s death, we continued to campaign, as Team Margot, for more people to join the stem cell and bone marrow registers.

More recently, Martin came up with another idea to not only support Team Margot, but also to address a long-held personal ambition; this time the idea was to enter a team to row across the Atlantic Ocean.


Team Margot Atlantic Rowers (L to R): Hamish Miller, Dr Tom Konig, Guy Dresser, Martin Beaumont

Team Margot Atlantic Rowers (L to R): Hamish Miller, Dr Tom Konig, Guy Dresser, Martin Beaumont

Video frames 01-03In December 2019 the Team Margot Atlantic Rowers will be competing in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, rowing 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean.

Perhaps unusually for a charity, we aren’t asking people to donate money, but instead we are asking everyone who is eligible, in particular those of mixed heritage, to go on standby to save a life by joining us on the blood stem cell register. Sadly the register of stem cell donors isn’t large enough, nor is it sufficiently diverse to meet the patient need. If you’re between 17-55 years of age and in general good health you could save someone’s life.‍

Video and FilmEach time the team row a stroke, we want someone to register as a stem cell donor. It takes about 1.5 million oar strokes to row across the Atlantic, and we want 1.5 million people to register as stem cell donors. If we were to achieve this goal of doubling the size of the combined UK stem cell registers, then statistically there would be over 15,000 patients who would get a potentially life saving stem cell transplant.

It’s an outlandish target and to succeed, this needs to become a major national outreach campaign. I believe there is an opportunity to unite the country around stem cell donation; whilst our differences matter, our common humanity matters more !

We intend to take you along this journey with us and this video is an initial glimpse of what we are up to…

Please help support by following, sharing and encouraging people to join the stem cell register. And if you have ideas, contacts and influence that might help spread the message far and wide, I’d love to hear from you.

Thank you.

Yaser, Margot’s father & Team Manager

Team Margot Atlantic Rowers
Pulling Together Saving Lives

Posted in: Journal
August 11, 2018

The Culture and Philosophy of ‘Giving to help others’


IMG_3885We set up Team Margot Foundation in January 2015, in memory of my daughter, Margot and to honour her legacy. A year earlier, Margot’s patient appeal for a bone marrow donor saw over 50,000 people in the UK alone requesting swab kits online, in order that they could join the register as potential donors. Margot’s appeal was covered by the media in thirteen countries and because Team Margot had built a following, we simply continued campaigning after Margot’s transplant, for the greater good.

Margot’s mixed heritage was the key reason we were unable to find her ‘perfect match’ and we soon learned about the stark disparity between the 69% chance of a White Northern European blood cancer patient finding their 10/10 antigen match and the 21% chance of a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic patient finding their equivalent match.

Screen Shot 2018-02-25 at 23.20.20It turns out that the odds are worse still if, like Margot, you’re mixed race.

This under-representation of Black, Asian, Mixed Race and Minority Ethnic (BAME) donors on the worldwide bone marrow / stem cell registers is also the prevalent issue when it comes to the need for more blood and organ donors too.

Our work has revealed that Margot’s story resonates with children of primary school ages and that young children are able to recall salient details remarkably well.

That’s why, in partnership with NHS Blood and Transplant, we created a tailored education programme for primary schools called ‘Giving to help others’, which starts with an assembly presentation.

We believe that tailored education and awareness for children of primary school ages (5-11) will ultimately result in two key outcomes:

  1. that the children will themselves grow up accepting donation as the norm, not the exception, such that a greater proportion of them will become registered adult donors and
  2. children will feel sufficiently empowered to influence their families and loved ones at home and elsewhere

We first trialled our assembly presentation ‘test of concept’ at the start of October 2017 and officially launched the programme and our initial findings later that month, working with the Education and Youth Team, at City Hall in London. The presentation materials, including powerpoint slides, teacher notes and short animated video are all available to use for free via givingtohelpothers.org

We recognise the need for our education and awareness programme to reach out to teachers, teaching staff and also parents and the wider school communities outside the classrooms, in addition to the children themselves.

During the course of the last few weeks, the ‘Giving to help others’ assembly presentation has been piloted in several primary schools within the London borough of Southwark. We have attended these assemblies, strictly as observers and are awaiting the analysis of the feedback forms received from 725 pupils and 22 teachers.

Thank you again to everyone involved. It’s a very fluid and iterative process, however I’m pleased to tell you that our learnings are already helping to inform next steps and how best to assess and encourage greater social impact, in order that more people sign up as potential stem cell donors, give blood and register as organ donors.

It took a loved one for me to change my own attitude and behaviour towards donation and I very much hope that others will embrace the culture and philosophy of ‘Giving to help others’, without first having to suffer their own family tragedy.

Team Margot
Together, saving lives

The Giving To Help Others assembly presentation is available to download for free via: givingtohelpothers.org


Posted in: Journal