More than 10,000 people have joined the Anthony Nolan register in three weeks, thanks to the #Match4Lara campaign, which the charity says has become one of its biggest ever recruitment drives.
Lara Casalotti, a 24-year-old from Belsize Park in London, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia just before Christmas and needs to find a suitable donor by April to save her life.
After finding out that her brother is, unfortunately, not a match, the #Match4Lara campaign was launched, using social media to spread the message and encourage people to take a ‘spit test’ and get their names added to the register of blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan.
Support from the likes of JK Rowling, Stephen Fry, Gareth Bale, Mark Wahlberg and Hugh Laurie followed on Twitter, helping the campaign quickly reach out to the masses. Twitter follower numbers are now approaching 900 with thousands of retweets achieved.
Blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan revealed this ‘unprecedented surge’ represents a 400 per cent increase compared to the number of donors who signed up during the same three-week period last year.
Nearly half of these new donors are from black, Asian, ethnic minority or mixed race backgrounds – the highest proportion ever seen by Anthony Nolan in a predominantly online campaign – thanks to targeted social media messaging.
Due to Lara’s Thai-Italian heritage, she faces a “needle in a haystack” search as only three per cent of the worldwide donor register are mixed race.
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