Three year old Ava from Lochgelly, Fife is waiting for a life-saving stem cell transplant. However, for the second time in four months, she was unable to receive her transplant after her match could not proceed.
Our SNBTS colleague Debbie Glen is a close friend of Ava’s family.
"It’s heart breaking to see what they’re going through,” says Debbie. "I’m not a match myself, and as a biomedical scientist, I know that finding a match involves testing as many people as possible.
"Statistics show that young people are more likely to be chosen as donors in lifesaving transplants and that’s why we ideally need people aged 16-30 to register. Blood and platelet transfusions are keeping Ava alive while she waits on her match but I’m asking blood donors and supporters, to go one step further and do a spit kit to find out if they could be Ava’s hero."
Ava has inspired almost 50,000 people to sign up to donate stem cells, but she is still waiting for a match. Can you help? Registering as a donor for Anthony Nolan is simple - you fill in a questionnaire and are given a spit sample for testing to see if you’re a match. She needs someone whose marrow matches 10 out of 10 genetic markers, but after a search of the worldwide register (which has about 25 million people on it) just one was found.
Ava has an extremely rare blood disorder which is fatal without a stem cell transplant. The condition, called inherited bone marrow failure, means she requires weekly blood and platelet transfusions whilst she waits for a matching donor. People who have donated stem cells have said the process is no more difficult than giving blood so please get involved and share Ava’s story with as many people as you can.