Durkan backs stem cell campaign

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SDLP Foyle MP Mark Durkan is urging people in Londonderry to back a campaign to boost the number of stem cell and bone marrow donors.

Mr Durkan is making the plea after attending a celebrity-backed event at Westminster this week hosted by Team Margot.

Team Margot is a charity created in memory of Margot Martini, an inspirational toddler with a rare and aggressive form of leukaemia, who sparked a worldwide campaign to find more stem cell donors.

Margot, from London, tragically lost her battle with blood cancer in 2014 and passed away aged just 2 years and 2 months old. But now her family is campaigning in her name to encourage more people to sign up to the UK stem cell register.

The reception, held in Parliament this week, attracted around 150 people, including Olympic sports champion Daley Thompson, Former Crimewatch host Nick Ross and actor Alistair Petrie, who has appeared in the BBC drama The Night Manager and Star Wars: Rogue One.

Mr Durkan said: “This is a campaign that I feel very strongly about, and one that I wholeheartedly support. We urgently need to boost the number of donors on the stem cell and bone marrow register and I would encourage as many people as possible in Derry and throughout the North to sign up to the register.”

Nick Ross, former Crimewatch host and trustee of the UK Stem Cell Foundation said: “I know from my work with the UK Stem Cell Foundation just how important it is that people sign up to the stem cell register.

“Stem cell therapy offers patients with debilitating diseases and conditions a real lifeline - I encourage as many people as possible to support this campaign.”