To celebrate the Platinum Jubilee, DKMS partnered with Kensington Palace Pavilion to host four-year-old blood cancer survivor Livia and her family at an afternoon tea fit for royalty.
Sporting a tiara so everyone knew she was Queen for the day, princess-obsessed Livia, who had a stem cell donation less than two years ago and has now recovered, was treated to cakes, sandwiches, scones and apple juice in the royal gardens, with her mother and father. Livia was full of energy, laughing with her parents and enjoying the food and drink, the only sign of her previous health problems being a brief pause to take some medicine, before carrying on with the afternoon.
In March 2020, after several weeks in hospital, two-year-old Livia was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). She went from enjoying her childhood, swimming, dancing, and playing, to spending most of her time on hospital wards, undergoing intensive treatment.
Livia’s best chance of survival was an urgent blood stem cell donation. Working with DKMS, her family launched a campaign to recruit more blood cell donors to the global register, in the hope of finding a lifesaving match for Livia, and others like her.
Having a minority ethnic background, half-Chinese and half-European, made finding Livia’s match even more difficult. Fortunately, a lifesaving match was identified and Livia went on to have her transplant. Now, just over two years after her initial diagnosis, Livia is a lively, chatty, and thriving little four-year old.
Olive, Livia’s mum, said: “After a really tough couple of years for Livia, it was great to see her having such a fun time being treated as a Queen for the day! Through her treatment, Livia always remained positive, and it’s great that she’s back to being able to do what she loves most – playing with her friends, running around, and watching Frozen whenever she can.”
Sarah Squires, Senior Donor Recruitment Manager at DKMS said: “Seeing Livia doing so well after her transplant reminds us all why we need to add more potential lifesavers to the stem cell donation registry. Just 3% of the UK population are registered and we’re urging everyone that can to join. Together we can help more little princesses, like Livia, grow up to be queens.”
Livia is also the face of a fundraising campaign being run by DKMS, in order to cover the costs of registering more potential lifesavers. You can find out more about Livia’s story and the campaign by visiting www.dkms.org.uk/princess