Page last updated at 13:37 GMT, Friday, 31 October 2008

Transplant match for dying child

Iona Stratton, her mother Anita & father Kevan
Iona's parents still want people of mixed-ethnicity to become donors

A bone marrow donor has been found for a toddler whose parents were told she could die before her second birthday.

Iona Stratton, 22 months, is suffering from leukaemia and is being cared for at Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital.

Finding a suitable bone marrow donor for Iona has been difficult because of her ethnicity. Her mother is Chinese and her father white.

Her parents appealed for mixed-race adults to donate their bone marrow and are "overjoyed" a match has been found.

The donor is from Australia and is a perfect "10-out-of-10" match.

"We are really pleased," said Iona's mother Anita Kan.

"This is just one hurdle down and we have still got many more to go. But it is our greatest relief finding a donor suitable for Iona."

Iona has spent much of her life in hospital and is currently on an isolation ward.


Thank you to all of you who have helped spread the appeal and those who went a step further by joining the register
Iona's parents

The transplant - her only hope of survival - is due to take place in mid-November.

Ms Kan, 34, said: "The bone marrow will be couriered over to the UK and the transplant will take place here.

"Iona still has a course of radiotherapy to go through before the transplant. She is happy and she is well and we want to keep her this way before the transplant."

Anita Kan and Iona's father, Kevan Stratton, posted an appeal on the online networking website Facebook on 13 October.

"We urgently need a suitable donor for our 22-month-old baby girl," they wrote on the webpage.

More than 5,500 people joined the online appeal.

'Save a life'

Iona's parents, from Tring in Hertfordshire, have since posted news on the website that a donor has been found.

"Thank you to all of you who have helped spread the appeal and those who went a step further by joining the register," their new message reads.

"However, it would be very selfish of us to suddenly stop this appeal as there are so many sick children and adults out there who are or have been in a similar situation to us.

"This is a plea for people from any mixed ethnic background to become donors so you can help save a life."

The Anthony Nolan Trust, a charity which matches leukaemia patients with donors, said of the potential donors listed on its register, less than 4% of volunteers are Asian.

The figure is much lower for many other ethnic groups.

People interested in becoming a potential donor should call the Anthony Nolan Trust on 020 7284 1234.

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SEE ALSO
Parents plea to save dying child
27 Oct 08 |  Oxfordshire
UK Asians hunt for bone marrow donors
20 Oct 08 |  South Asia

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