June 26, 2019

Episode 6 – Peter McCleave needs a stem cell donor to save his life…


Posted in: Journal
May 28, 2019

It’s World Blood Cancer Day & 500 pubs and bars are making their mark by supporting ‘Pinkspiration Week’



World Blood Cancer DayToday is WORLD BLOOD CANCER DAY when people around the world show their support for people with blood cancer. Make YOUR mark and become a stem cell donor !

Pinkspiration LogoA growing number of operators across the hospitality sector are marking the occasion by supporting ‘Pinkspiration Week’, which runs from 23-30 July this year. 

The support already pledged means around 500 outlets in the UK will be running activity around Team Margot Pinkspiration Week. 

FacebookTHANK YOU to Beds and Bars, Glendola Leisure, Yummy Pubs, Cirrus Inns, Arc Inspirations, New World Trading, All Our Bars and Fuller’s, all of whom have already agreed to participate in Pinkspiration Week, while trade bodies, UK Hospitality and the British Institute of Innkeeping are encouraging their members to back the campaign.

Unlike most charity initiatives, Pinkspiration Week is aiming not to raise money, but to encourage people to register as stem cell and bone marrow donors. The campaign links to the Team Margot Atlantic Row in December this year, when a team of four dads will be taking part in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge. Their aim is to encourage new registrations from 1.5 million people – the number of strokes it will take them to complete the 3,000-mile journey, hence their slogan #WeRowYouRegister

Thinking pink: Marfgot's father, Yaser with the Team Margot Atlantic Rowers’ car and boat, which will be going 3,000 miles across the Atlantic to encourage people to register as stem cell and bone marrow donors

Thinking pink: Margot’s father, Yaser with the Team Margot Atlantic Rowers’ car and boat, which will be going 3,000 miles across the Atlantic to encourage people to register as stem cell and bone marrow donors

Margot’s father, Yaser Martini says: “We are basically asking people to swab their cheeks and join the register. It’s quick and easy to do and it’s incredible to think that a stranger standing next to you at the bar could be your ‘perfect match’ and lifesaver, if you needed a stem cell transplant. But you wouldn’t know that, unless they were on the register.”

Anyone between 17-55 years old who is in general good health can join the register via a simple swab test. 

Pubs, bars and restaurants supporting Pinkspiration Week are encouraged to ‘Think Pink’ by offering a pink drinks list, having a ‘Drink Pink Day’, offering pink-inspired dishes or putting team members in pink to help raise awareness. Team Margot are supporting participating operators with a suite of downloadable assets, including copy and images for use in customer newsletters, posters, website banners and social media posts, all available from the website: https://www.teammargotatlanticrowers.com/pinkspiration 


Yaser with Team Skipper, Martin Beaumont (doing a 'Brucie' 💪)

Yaser with Team Skipper, Martin Beaumont  (doing a ‘Brucie’ 💪) by their pink Atlantic rowing boat

Beds and Bars, one of the first operators to give its support to Pinkspiration Week, will be offering a free pink drink to anyone signing up one of their venues to find out more about the Team Margot Foundation activity. Keith Knowles, CEO and founder of Beds and Bars said: “We have been supporting the Team Margot Foundation since 2015 and we will be supporting Team Margot Pinkspiration as part of our annual ‘Live Your Life’ campaign in July.”

Alexander Langlands Pearse, CEO of Cirrus Inns said: “Pinkspiration Week is an easy initiative for us to support. We know our teams will embrace the pink theme with enthusiasm and we can execute it flexibly to suit the offer in each pub. Our customers are generous to charity appeals, but it’s good to be asking them for non-financial support this time.” 

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality, said: “We are delighted to continue to support Pinkspiration Week to raise awareness of the importance of bone marrow donations. Less than a third of the people needing life-saving treatment can find a match within their immediate family, so increasing the number of people who are registered donors is vital. It really is very simple – register, swab and save a life.”


with Jonathan Pearce, CEO DKMS UK (L) and Stephan Schumacher, International Business Director, DKMS

Yaser said: “We are delighted with operators’ response to Pinkspiration Week so far, and are confident that many more pubs, bars and restaurants will come on board. Those that have signed up say they’re pleased to support the initiative as it is fun, promotes a worthy cause that everyone can get behind – and doesn’t involve rattling a collecting tin at their customers!”

He added: “We’re encouraging operators to spread the word about stem cell registration not just to customers, but across their networks – to all their teams in outlets and at head office and up the supply chain. Community is what our industry excels at. The more people who go on the register, the better the chance that those who need treatment will find a match. 

“If we can reach our target of adding 1.5 million people to the register, then up to 15,000 lives could potentially be saved.” 


The Team Margot Atlantic Rowers’ boat is sponsored by cider makers Orchard Pig, IMG_0217part of the C&C group. Jason Ash, the company’s chief marketing officer, said: “In terms of challenges of sheer human endurance this one epitomises the Orchard Pig attitude of ‘Go Pig or Go Home’, and we’ve been hugely inspired by The Team Margot Atlantic Rowers.

“We’re delighted to sponsor the team and have no doubt they’ll do a brilliant job in raising awareness to drive blood stem cell donor registrations. We’ll certainly be encouraging all Orchid Pig customers to support Pinkspiration Week and do their bit to help Team Margot hit their target.” 

* For more information on the Team Margot Atlantic Rowers and ideas on how to get involved in ‘Pinkspiration’ Week visit https://www.teammargotatlanticrowers.com/pinkspiration


Team Margot Atlantic Rowers
Pulling Together, Saving Lives


  • The Team Margot Atlantic Rowers are aiming to hit their target of 1.5 million blood stem cell registrations by the time the rowers reach the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge finish line in Antigua in early 2020. 
  • The team of four dads are led by skipper Martin Beaumont, whose late father Chris was the first CEO of industry charity Springboard.
  • For more information on the Team Margot Atlantic Rowers see: www.WeRowYouRegister.org Twitter – @margot_team, FB @TeamMargotAtlanticRowers Instagram – teammargotatlanticrowers
  • IMG_8565For more information on the Team Margot Foundation, visit www.teammargot.com, Twitter – @swab4margot, FB @teammargotmartini, Instagram – teammargot
  • Research by the international donor centre DKMS, says there are currently more than 37,000 people worldwide in desperate need of a stem cell or bone marrow transplant (including 2,000 in the UK). 
  • At present people with certain ethnic backgrounds are massively disadvantaged when it comes to stem cell transplant. Anthony Nolan research shows white, Northern European patients have a 69% chance of finding their ‘perfect match’ tissue type while people from the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities have only a 21% chance of finding an equivalent match. For those of mixed heritage, like Margot, the odds are worse still.
  • To become a potential blood stem cell donor, people do a quick online eligibility check and request a swab kit. A swab kit is posted to their home and they send it back. Once swabs are received, a person’s tissue type is analysed and details added on the UK stem cell registry in an anonymised form. Details are then part of blood stem cell donor searches for people all over the world who need a genetic match to get a second chance at life. For more information on blood stem cell donation visit – www.dkms.org.uk/team-margot/
  • The registered charity number for the Team Margot Foundation Charity is 1160236.

The story so far…



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