Match4Lara campaign finds successful match

Image credit: Casalotti family

The sister of Cambridge student Seb Casalotti has found a stem cell match after months spent campaigning to find a donor.

Seb Casalotti, a student at Magdalene College, Cambridge, has been a major part of his family’s efforts to encourage more people to join the stem cell donor registery hoping to find a match for his sister Lara.

Diagnosed with leukaemia in December, Lara needed to find a stem cell match by April in order to begin treatment. The chances of finding a match for Lara were statistically slim, as only 3% of those on the donor registery are mixed race.

The campaign became famous worldwide, with celebrities such as Stephen Fry and J.K. Rowling helping Lili Bidwell Deputy News Editor to raise awareness by sharing posts on their social media profiles. There have been many people signing up who are of black, Asian, ethnic minority, or mixed race backgrounds, and this is heartening news for donors, as it widens the scope of the registery.

Seb Casalotti set up many events around Cambridge to encourage more people to sign up. In just one day, the recruitment drive run by Cambridge Marrow, managed to sign up 656 people, including many students.

Finding a match has been a huge relief for Lara’s whole family; for Lara “these past months have been a whirlwind, but I am so thankful a donor with a genetic match has now been found.” However she still urges “people to sign up to the donor registries so that everyone can have a chance of finding their match.''

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