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Page last updated at 08:46 GMT, Thursday, 3 June 2010 09:46 UK
Yvette Gate's mother Mary pays tribute to daughter

Mary Gate talks about her daughter Yvette who has died

The mother of Yvette Gate says she is "very proud" of her daughter who has died aged 16.

The teenager from Bristol became the focus of an international appeal for a bone marrow match.

Yvette suffered from Aplastic Anaemia - where the bone marrow fails to produce red cells, platelets and white cells.

Her mother, Mary, said that Yvette taught her "a lot in life" and she is "very proud" of the girl who she affectionately called "princess".

A lack of bone marrow donors amongst the black and minority ethnic community left Yvette unable to find a match.

She died at Bristol Children's Hospital on Saturday.

"She was such a strong girl, she was fighting, fighting and the Oncology medical staff were fantastic.
Mary Gate

Worldwide, there are 16,000 children and adults searching for a bone marrow donor.

Yvette's father, David, quit his job to work full-time raising funds and organising donor sessions in the hope that a suitable match would be found.

Mary said the campaign, which could have helped her daughter, meant others were saved.

"There's not many black people on the register and that's why we were raising awareness, running bone marrow clinics.

"But, we couldn't find a match for Yvette. We did everything to try and help her.

"The good thing was that we managed to find matches for other patients and Yvette was really happy about it."

Mary added that her daughter never gave up her fight for life.

"She was such a strong girl, she was fighting, fighting and the Oncology medical staff were fantastic.

"They all want to see it happening; they all want to see Yvette get better. They all did their level best to save her.

"But, it wasn't possible."

Yvette's father, David, said he wanted to encourage more people to sign up to the Bone Marrow Register because of their experience.

More information on the Bone Marrow Register
Call 0300 123 23 23

"All around the world there are people that are ill, and in the future there are people that will become ill.

"If they get to the stage when they need a bone marrow donor then they're going to have a problem if we don't encourage more people to find out more.

"And if they are able to, [they can] sign up and make themselves available," he said.

David added that although many people might not like the idea of donating, they should remember it could save a life.

"I'm on the register and I'm not a fan of hospitals, I don't like needles, which is a line many people take.

"If I actually came up as a match for someone to be a donor then I'd go and do it but I don't think I'd be very keen about it because I'm a bit squeamish.

"But the thought of what I could do could save somebody's life? It's insignificant in terms of balance."

Bone marrow appeal teenager dies
02 Jun 10 |  Bristol
'Living on borrowed time'
02 May 09 |  UK
Race against time to find a donor
04 Feb 08 |  Bristol


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