Lara Casalotti: Parent’s plea for more mixed race donors as daughter battles leukaemia

A 24-year-old student and charity campaigner from Hampstead is appealing for a bone marrow donor to come forward to save her life.

Lara Casalotti has yet to find a bone marrow donor to match her mixed Italian and Thai heritage.

The 24-year-old student and charity campaigner was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia, a quickly developing disease most common in people over 65, in December. She was working in Thailand and initially believed she had pulled a muscle in her back.

Miss Casalotti, who speaks five languages and is studying global migration at UCL, volunteers with young refugees and has previously worked at the UN.

Her family have launched the #Match4lara appeal in order to find a match and to increase awareness after discovering there is a lack of donors for ethnic minorities.

There is a severe shortage of ethnic minority donors on the Anthony Nolan register in the UK. According to figures only 20% of people from black, Asian and ethnic minorities who need a stem cell transplant will find a match.

The campaign has already attracted an increase in the number of donors, and the Match4Lara Facebook page has nearly 4,000 likes.

Speaking in a video appeal posted on the match4Lara website the masters student’s mother Supanya explained the challenge the family are up against in order to help their daughter.

So far, Stephen Fry and Labour MP for Hampstead and Kilburn Tulip Siddiq have tweeted about it – among others.

And Lara’s dad tweeted…

Laura F. Nixon

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