25 September 2017
26 year-old Lara Casalotti is urging the nation to lend a hand in the fight against blood cancer and support our latest fundraising campaign #LetsNailBloodCancer.
To coincide with Blood Cancer Awareness Month #LetsNailBloodCancer was launched to encourage people to register as a potential blood stem cell donor and raise vital funds to register even more.
Lara, the face of the campaign, knows first hand the devastating impact that blood cancer can have. Whilst studying abroad in December 2015 Lara would often get extremely tired and get a dull aching pain in her leg and tried to dismiss it. When the pain continued she got medical advice and received the devastating news that she had an aggressive form of acute myeloid leukaemia.
Every 20 minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with a blood cancer (such as leukaemia, myeloma and lymphoma). For many people, like Lara, diagnosed with a blood cancer, a blood stem cell donation from a matching donor is their best or only chance of survival.
Due to Lara’s Chinese-Thai-Italian heritage it was going to be a challenge to find a suitable donor – only one in three people in need of a blood stem cell transplant are lucky enough to find a match with their own family. No-one in Lara’s family was a match and she needed a match from an unrelated person.
Thankfully after a global search a donor match was identified and in March 2016 Lara received her lifesaving stem cell donation from a selfless stranger.
Lara “I’m proud to support DKMS who do incredible work for people with a blood cancer searching for their potential lifesaver. I wanted to give something back in any way, shape or form, so being the face of the #LetsNailBloodCancer campaign seemed like the perfect way to help lend a hand.
“I wouldn’t be alive today if a lifesaving blood stem donor hadn’t be found for me and I’m immensely grateful to my donor. Every patient deserves a second chance of life – so please take the time to register as a potential blood stem cell donor and support the campaign.
How you can help
Help give someone a second chance of life, spread the message and encourage your friends, family and colleagues to register as a potential blood stem cell donor. Show your support for #LetsNailBloodCancer sign up to host your own mani-pedicure party.
Lara, along with her mum, attended a DKMS event at Elemis and Cartizze Bar on Wednesday 20 September to mark #LetsNailBloodCancer. Other guests included Henry Conway, Tonia Buxton and Cleo Rocos who were entertained by magician Jasz Vegas. Check out the photos from the night.