The first time I watched the Team Margot YouTube video appeal I cried my eyes out. To this day, it remains one of the most emotive and heartfelt things I have ever watched. My instant reaction upon watching the video was; how can I help? So I did as the video asked and went along to the swab day in Wolverhampton and registered as a blood stem cell donor with Delete Blood Cancer UK for Margot and anyone else in her position.
After I registered at the day, I could not get little Margot out of my head. So, about a month later, myself and my friend Emily decided we needed to do something more. We had seen the fundraising/swab event in East Sheen that was being run in London and thought we needed the same in Wolverhampton. I sent a message to Team Margot and asked if they would mind if we organised an event for them in Wolverhampton. Yaser (Margot’s Dad) got back to us and said he loved the idea, and after that it was full steam ahead! Over the next few months, myself and Emily spent any free time we had organising ‘Dance 4 Margot & Friends’. And on the 27th June last year, we ran an event that for me became the first of many. Running that event gave me an insight into not only Team Margot and the wonderful people involved, but also the charity behind them – Delete Blood Cancer UK (DBC UK).
For me, learning more about DBC and the fantastic work they do, as well as following Margot’s story, meant there was absolutely no chance I could stop. I did some more fundraising with them and kept in touch and eventually decided that, because of the amazing feeling being able to actively help gave me, I wanted to go into charity work. I went on a couple of interviews and then coincidence of all coincidences, there was a vacancy at DBC. Long story short, I got the job! It is no exaggeration to say that this was literally a dream come true for me.
Since working for DBC, I have worked with many different people, patients and families, but my absolute favourite part of my job is the way that in times of crisis and heartache, friends, families and even complete strangers band together to support one another and help in any way they can. I see this time and time again, and it is especially poignant for me when that help comes from Team Margot.
I recently met two of the amazing Ireland sisters (Sophie and Georgie) who are currently running the Give Our Dad A Bone campaign to help find their dad (Rob Ireland) a match. The girls have done a fantastic job and were an absolute pleasure to meet. However the one thing that they said that really touched me was that in the beginning, right after they found their Dad needed a stem cell donation, they felt like they were lost in a sea of information with no idea of how to find dry land. Yet, after Team Margot reached out to them, they had a life raft and a true feeling of support. It gave them a stability and a sense of real understanding that has enabled them to push forward with an amazing campaign.
As with many others, Margot ignited a passion in me that I did not even realise I had. Her appeal gave me a focus and a drive that I use every day working with DBC. It is very rare occasion when I don’t mention Margot at a donor recruitment event, purely because her story along with her family are an inspiration to me. She was the reason I registered, and the amazing work Team Margot and Delete Blood Cancer UK did with her campaign made it impossible for me not to get involved further and end up where I am today – doing something I love every day that is so much more than a job.
Margot is missed every day, but the legacy she has created, the awareness raised because of her, lives saved and support for other families in similar situations that Yaser, Vicki, Nadia, Charlotte and all of Team Margot provide is truly awe inspiring. Team Margot will always have a special place in my heart, and I’m so happy that I regularly get to hear so many others say the same. I am so proud of the work they do and that I am a part of it and so thankful that because of Margot Martini, I now help in the fight against blood cancer every day with an amazing charity, and the legacy of Margot.
Together, saving lives