Alara inspires Ulster University to hold event to register potential blood stem cell donors

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An event is taking place at Ulster University on Tuesday, 1st of December, to help find a matching blood stem cell donor for Alara Basturk. Organised by Delete Blood Cancer UK and students from the university, staff and students are invited to swab the inside of their cheeks to register as potential blood stem cell donors at the Jordanstown Campus.

They will be doing so to help find a match for Alara or any of those in need of a blood stem cell donation to save their life.

“Alara’s appeal really touched all of our hearts. When we found out how easy it was to register, we knew that we had to organize an event to get as many people as possible to register.”

Sasha Gillespie Ulster University student

Seven-year-old Alara, who is from the Ormeau Road, was diagnosed with leukaemia at the age of three. She went into remission following treatment but relapsed a few months ago and her parents have been told that she now needs a blood stem cell donation for her survival. As only sixty percent of those in need of a blood stem cell donation find a donor with a perfectly matching tissue-type, Alara’s parents and Delete Blood Cancer UK are appealing for more people to register as potential donors to increase the chances of finding a matching donor for Alara and all those desperately seeking a donor.

Sasha Gillespie, a student at Ulster University, explains why they organized the event: “Alara’s appeal really touched all of our hearts. When we found out how easy it was to register, we knew that we had to organize an event to get as many people as possible to register. This is to give everyone who works or studies at the university, and is aged 55 or under, a chance to go on standby to save a life. We are organizing it in the hope of helping Alara or one of the thousands of people looking for a matching donor.”

You can register in five minutes online and request a cheek swab kit that will enable you to do your own tissue test to go on the database to maybe one day become a blood stem cell donor and be someone’s only chance of survival, through the Delete Blood Cancer UK website: www.deletebloodcancer.org.uk.