Sunday, 12 January 2014

Save a Life

I'm not writing, today, about cushions or ceramics or paint colours or Smythson's diaries.  All those things have their place, of course, and I strongly believe in the power of certain things - things that others might dismiss as superficial - when it comes to improving morale in times of trouble.  However, when the chips really are down, one needs more:  one needs people to actually help.

And so, today, that is what I am asking - and I'm not asking for me, but for a little girl called Margot.  She's a month younger than Esmeralda, and she's the daughter of a friend, Victoria Martini.  

Margot and Victoria, before life changed for them.

In March last year Margot and Esmeralda were playing together at a baby shower, Esmeralda trying her damnedest to poach the bow in Margot's hair.  By October, Margot was at Great Ormond Street receiving chemotherapy for a very rare form of dual lineage Leukaemia that she was diagnosed with on the 7th of that month, aged not quite fourteen months. 

Chemotherapy is going well, but Margot, in order to survive, needs to find a blood stem cell donor.  Her father, Yaser, made this utterly amazing and heartbreaking video, which has already had nearly 25,000 views on YouTube.  Please watch it, share it, and please, please act on it.  

It is impossibly easy to register to see if one can be a match for Margot.  One goes to, gives one's details, (and selects 'Team Margot' when asked how one heard about it.)  A pack arrives, one swabs, and sends it back.  It's that easy.  And if one is outside the UK, which I know some of you are, you can find out how to register from whichever country you're in here.

Alternatively, there are donor drives that one can attend.  There's one taking place in Notting Hill on the 1st February.  Another is in Sheen on the 2nd February.  (Full details of both below.)  Please, take friends, family, colleagues - anyone and everyone you know of the right age (under 55) and who is basically healthy - and ask them to register and swab.  

The greatest thing that any of us can do this year is try to help to save a life.  Especially when it is so easy, and takes so little effort.  

Today is Margot's 100th day of being treated at Great Ormond Street.

Notting Hill Donor Drive:  Saturday 1st February 2014, 11am to 4pm, The Tabernacle, Powis Square, Notting Hill, W11 2AY.  (There's going to be a bake sale too, all proceeds going to Delete Blood Cancer.  I'm making chocolate brownies.)

Sheen Donor Drive:  Sunday 2nd February 2014, from 10am, Sheen Montessori Nursery, Palewell Common Drive, East Sheen, London SW14 8RE.