In 2014, Margot was one of 2,000 people in the UK in desperate need of a life saving bone marrow / stem cell transplant and she desperately needed a donor with a matching tissue type.
Awareness of the need for more donors is poor, which is astonishing when you consider that every 35 seconds, someone in the world is diagnosed with blood cancer.
Increasingly, bone marrow transplants are being used as life saving solutions for more than just blood disorders, so there is and will continue to be an ever increasing need for stem cell / bone marrow donors.
GIVING TO HELP OTHERS
At the core of what Team Margot is about is “giving to help others”, and when we say “giving”, in this context we don’t mean giving money; instead, we mean giving, literally, a part of ourselves for the sake of others, hopefully to help save a life.
Often, people don’t know how to give and sometimes, the mere thought seems quite scary and frightening. Which is why we signpost where to go on teammargot.com, explain what’s involved, and encourage people to register.
Of course, giving in this way is a commitment, but as Margot’s mother, Vicki says: “if you’d be prepared to accept a donation of any kind, then you should be prepared to give also.”
We’d like more people to think about that.
We regard registering to be a potential stem cell donor as being the “gateway to giving”, because it’s an easy, one-time action. And if you are fortunate enough to be matched with a patient in need, it’s also very likely that your donation will be a one-time action too.
By comparison, blood and platelet donations are regular & ideally on-going commitments.
These are all simple procedures and our bodies naturally replenish what has been harvested, unlike with organ donation which, more often than not, can be our final gesture as human beings.
You can get started as a potential stem cell donor online straightaway and have a DIY registration kit sent to you – see: ‘How to Register‘. It’s a simple process and you return your DIY kit by post. Once on the register, on average you have about a 1 in 1,200 chance of being asked to actually donate. Your own bone marrow regenerates within about 10 days post harvest. Harvest is relatively straightforward and will have little / minimal impact on your life. And if you actually donate, you know that you’re likely to be saving someone’s life.
You can save a life. Or at least gift someone more time with their family and loved ones.
Margot eventually found her donor match but unfortunately too few ever succeed in finding one: only 50% of people with a blood cancer ever find their matching donor. And the odds of successfully finding a perfect match fall to only 20% if the patient is of mixed heritage.
It needn’t be this way…
As a result of Team Margot’s efforts to date, statistically there will be over 500 people who will now have the option of a donor match that could potentially save their life.
We hope you can join us in saving more lives.
p.s. the bone marrow donor / recipient process is anonymous, certainly for the first two years post transplant. We were permitted to write to Margot’s bone marrow donor and did so in April 2014, the day before Margot left Hospital to come home after 8 weeks in isolation (see below).
One day, we hope to meet him.
To the gentleman that selflessly and benevolently donated his bone marrow to someone else in their time of need…
You were there for a little girl who was quite suddenly taken ill and found herself in desperate need of a stem cell donor match, in order to stand the best chances of beating her blood cancer.
You are our hero.
We feel this way in spite of knowing very little about you. However, that you thought to take the time to register as a potential stem cell donor and made good on your commitment when our call came, speaks volumes for who you are as a human being.
Today, tests show that our little girl has 100% of your stem cells in her bone marrow, which means the bone marrow transplant was successful.
We are told that she is now ‘disease free’ and are looking forward to her coming home soon, making a full recovery and living a healthy and complication free life hereafter.
You have given her a second chance at life; we are all unspeakably grateful to you for this miraculous gift and one day, we very much hope to meet you.
Yours in admiration, from the fortunate and humbled parents, brothers, cousins, uncles and aunts, grandparents, great grandparents and friends:
9 April 2014
Team Margot’s mission
To help save and improve lives by educating, inspiring and motivating people, especially from ethnically diverse communities, to register as blood, organ, stem cell and bone marrow donors and to provide a range of support to families caring for child cancer patients.
Team Margot also provides secretariat support to the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Ethnicity Transplantation and Transfusion.