It was never our intention to raise money.
When Margot needed a bone marrow transplant, family and friends came together as Team Margot to help find her a matching donor and ask people to do something amazing: register as stem cell donors and encourage others to do the same. We explained how such a selfless act could save a life and that it could be our daughter’s.
During Margot’s appeal we were careful not to confuse our public campaign with fundraising. We wanted our message to be clear.
Nevertheless, we have come to realise that many people want to donate money and/or fundraise to support what we do, regardless of whether they have registered as a stem cell donor, give blood or are on the organ donor register: some because they’re ineligible to register, others because they’ve been touched or inspired by Margot’s story / the efforts of Team Margot.
Thanks to their efforts, Team Margot raised almost £300,000 in 2014, in support of various charities. After Margot died, we registered Team Margot Foundation as a charity in early 2015 to continue to honour Margot’s legacy as a permanent Foundation. This enables the Charity trustees to better understand how funds are raised and donated – and to deploy them in the most beneficial ways.
During treatment, Margot needed many blood and platelet transfusions to keep her well and because of the tough discussion my wife and I had about donating Margot’s organs, the Charity also promotes the need for more blood donors and organ donors, in addition to encouraging more people to register as stem cell and bone marrow donors.
Margot’s mixed family background was the key obstacle to finding her a “perfect” tissue type match, which is why we encourage everyone who is eligible, particularly Black, Asian, mixed heritage & minority ethnic communities, to register as blood, organ, stem cell and bone marrow donors.
We set up givingtohelpothers.org in partnership with the NHS Blood and Transplant in October 2017. This education platform has been created and developed for children of primary school ages and raises awareness of and encourages stem cell donation alongside other forms of donation, namely blood and organs. The aim is to help bring about culture change, particularly in the communities where the need for donations is greatest, so that increasingly people register and are donors. Ultimately, we want donation to become regarded as the norm, rather than the exception.
Margot was at Great Ormond Street Hospital for several months and we know how hard life can be when caring for a sick child. Accordingly, as a grant giving Foundation, the Charity also makes ‘one-off’ £1,000 grants to families caring for child cancer patients. These grants are for the recipient families to use in any way they wish. The grants have come to be regarded as ‘emergency funds’ by the hospital employees and social workers that put forward the applications, because the funds are approved and typically arrive within 24 hours, following receipt of the patient’s bank details.
Everyone at Team Margot is an unpaid volunteer. We willingly give our efforts & energy to spread the word, in our own time and in our own way. There are no salaries, admin fees or expenses paid by the charity. No clever accounting tricks. We do what we do because we want to make a difference: 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, blood or organ donation.
Thank you so much for your support.
Yaser, Margot’s father
Together, saving lives
Team Margot Foundation Registered Charity Number: 1160236