Nottingham

Nottingham girl in bone marrow donor search

Lilya Jones Image copyright Anthony Nolan
Image caption Lilya Coleman Jones was diagnosed with an aggressive form of blood cancer in November

A 12-year-old girl in need of a lifesaving stem cell transplant is calling for more people to become bone marrow donors to save others like her.

Lilya Coleman Jones was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia - a rare and aggressive form of blood cancer - in November.

She said she believed the campaign was "not going to help me", but hoped to help others who need a transplant.

Events are being held across Nottingham to sign up potential donors.

Lilya, who is a pupil at Wollaton's Fernwood School, is undergoing chemotherapy and waiting for a bone marrow donation.

The "Find a match for Lilya" campaign was set up with the charity Anthony Nolan after her family were ruled out as potential donors.

Lilya, who lives in Nottingham, said: "While there is a very slim chance that this might help me, it might help somebody else.

"It's really raising my spirits."

Her mother Helen Jones said it was "astonishing" what Lilya was doing.

"Given everything she's gone through, I'm just so proud," she said.

Image copyright SPL
Image caption Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia is a rare and aggressive form of blood cancer

Events are being held between Wednesday and Saturday including at the Council House, University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University.

Lilya's father Martin Coleman said he "felt the bottom of the world had dropped out from under me" when they found out she had cancer.

'I've felt it all, from being dizzy with the surge of emotions, suddenly nothing else mattered," he said.

Henny Braund, from Anthony Nolan, said each day five leukaemia patients were searching for a match from a stranger.

She said: "We're particularly calling on young men aged 16-30 to consider joining the register as they provide 50% of all stem cell donations but make up just 18% of our register."

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