18 June 2018
Thanks to a complete stranger Jasmi from Bury St Edmunds was given a second chance at life.
On Saturday 16 June the eight-year-old marked a huge milestone moment by attending Ed Sheeran’s Wembley concert. This recognised six months on from receiving her lifesaving transplant thanks to her idol’s support.
The #JoinForJasmi Campaign
Last year the international superstar became aware of the #JoinForJasmi campaign, which was urging people to register as a blood stem cell donor.
Jasmi had been battling acute lymphoblastic leukaemia since 2014 and relapsed for a second time last year. After several rounds of chemotherapy and radiotherapy the family were told Jasmi’s best chance of survival was to find a matching blood stem cell donor.
Calling on potential lifesavers
Ed called on his army of supporters to register online as a potential lifesaver not only for Jasmi but for the thousands of people waiting for a matching donor.
Ed Sheeran supporting the #JoinForJasmi campaign
Ed Sheeran with Stormzy at Wembley Stadium Saturday 16 June - photo credit Zakary Walters
With Ed’s support along with other celebrities Jasmi’s appeal went global and thousands of people registered. Thankfully within a few months a matching donor for Jasmi had been identified just before her eighth birthday.
Ed said: “To know that Jasmi has been given a second chance at life is a wonderful thing – I was so pleased that she and her family could attend the Wembley concert and hope that the future is bright for Jasmi.”
Jasmi attended the concert with her mum Rena and family friend Alice Thomas, who played an instrumental role with the campaign, and Alice’s son Fin.
Jasmi and mum Rena at Ed Sheeran's concert
On the road to recovery
Jasmi received the transplant late last year and has been on the road to recovery ever since. Rena said: “Since the transplant there have definitely been some bumps along the way. Jasmi has had every allergic reaction that she possibly could including her skin and blood changing colour, which is the rarest reaction. So she is definitely one in a million.
“It has been touch and go and we still continue to be in and out of hospital but we are praying that things are on the up. To be able to attend Ed’s concert was a real milestone moment for us.”
Finding that perfect match
Jasmi’s step dad Paul added: “It’s pretty awe inspiring for other people in the same position as Jasmi, who are yet to find their lifesaver. We found just one match but that could be all you need. We couldn’t have had a better match if we tried and to think six months before there was nothing.
“We’re thrilled by the support we received from Ed, our family, friends and the whole community – we still get people who’ve registered with DKMS saying they haven’t received a call to say they are a match. It’s great to see that they’re so keen to help someone in need.”
Credit: ITV Anglia
Thanking that stranger
The family hopes that one day they will be able to thank the stranger that registered and selflessly donated in person. Paul said: “We’d love to be able to meet this wonderful stranger but we need to take it a day at a time. I don’t think there is a morning we don’t wake up thinking, “is Jasmi going to be okay?” So we need to take it step-by-step and day-by-day.”
How you can help
Anyone between the ages of 17-55 and in good general health can go on standby to potentially save a life. Check your eligibility and sign up as a potential blood stem cell donor today.