Lara Casalotti announces stem cell donor found after her worldwide Match4Lara appeal
A 24-year-old leukaemia victim, whose celebrity-backed search for a bone marrow donor sparked one of the biggest ever global campaigns of its kind, has found a match.
Lara is a 24-year-old Chinese-Thai-Italian student passionate about human rights and refugee issues. She was diagnosed with an aggressive form of Acute Myeloid Leukemia in December 2015, and was told that a stem cell transplant was her best hope of a cure. As only 3% of the donors on the worldwide registry identify as mixed-race, her mixed heritage makes it extremely hard to find a suitable stem cell donor.
Lara’s family and friends started #match4lara to help find Lara and others a match. Despite the odds against her, on Feb 4th, World Cancer Day, Lara’s family were told that a suitable donor was found!
Of the 25 million people already on the registry, only a handful were identified as potential matches and from these one 9 out of 10 match was available. The search gave family, friends and Lara a sense of resolve and hope in the face of such a devastating situation. From the beginning, Lara and the family emphasized that #match4lara was a campaign to recruit new donors onto registries to help anyone that needed a stem cell donation, particularly those from under-represented ethnicities on the worldwide registries.
By joining a national bone marrow registry you can provide a potential gift of life to 37,000 patients like Lara in their time of greatest need.
Smart Cells have closely followed Lara’s progress and would like to wish Lara and her family all the best with her treatment. We hope that as more and more people have now been encouraged to donate, that suitable treatments will be found for more of the population suffering with life-threatening illnesses.