Transplant success for UEL lecturer’s daughter

Lara is at home recovering from her transplant.

Lara is at home recovering from her transplant. - Credit: Archant

A Stratford lecturer’s daughter who beat the odds to find a transplant match is home from hospital and recovering.

Lara Casalotti, who was diagnosed with leukaemia in December, was told there was a slim chance of finding a bone marrow match due to her Thai-Ialian heritage.

A number of donor drives were held to encourage more people to join the register, including at the University of East London, where her father Dr Stefano Casalotti teaches.

But two months ago it was announced that one in the 25 million people on the bone marrow register was a positive match.

Lara posted on the Match4Lara campaign page saying: “I’m home!! The transplant went well and after 10 days I officially engrafted and then was allowed to come home today.”

Sharing a picture of her with a dog, she added: “Oscar has had a little hospital stint of his own, so we will be convalescing at home together. I am so grateful to have been able to have this wonderful gift of a stem cell donation - thank you to my amazing donor!”

The global campaign to find 24-year-old Lara a match has saw over 20,000 people join the bone marrow register worldwide.

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Bone marrow charity, Anthony Nolan, also announced an ‘unprecedented spike’ of new donors from black, Asian, ethnic minority or mixed race backgrounds.

The family have said they will continue to campaign for more mixed race people to join transplant lists.

Lara’s brother, Seb, said: “We’ve been so lucky in finding a match but we know that others are not so fortunate. The Match4Lara events planned around the world over the coming weeks will go ahead as planned, so that other families can one day receive the same good news.

“This campaign was hatched around the dinner table and we never expected it to receive such incredible support - we were inspired by the Match4Aary campaign, who is still waiting for a match, so we need people to keep signing up to registries worldwide.”

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