The mother of a dying Fife toddler has thanked the 50,000 “heroes” who have registered as stem cell donors.
On Tuesday, Marie Stark, 33, launched an urgent appeal after her daughter Ava’s stem cell transplant was cancelled at the last minute.
“You’re all heroes in my eyes,” said Ms Stark, of Lochgelly.
“This won’t just be helping my little girl but literally thousands of others both now and in the future. I actually can’t believe how many people have signed up.
“The response we got the first time was just incredible but this is a whole new level.
“To think that so many people have signed up to save one crazy-haired little girl is just mind-blowing and I can’t find the words to thank everyone enough.”
A stem cell donor had been found for three-year-old Ava, but had to pull out at the last minute because of medical reasons.
Ava had called the donor “my hero”.
The race is now on to save Ava’s life.
She suffers from inherited bone marrow failure which prevents her body from producing blood cells and without a transplant the condition is fatal.
But the odds of finding another donor who is a perfect match are one in 25 million.
By Thursday morning, 33,000 potential donors had registered with DKMS and 16,000 with Anthony Nolan.
A spokeswoman for Anthony Nolan said: “It’s been phenomenal these last two days because we usually average about 100 a day. The more donors we have on the register, the increased likelihood of finding a match. Every year, 2000 people in the UK need a stem cell transplant. This is great for everybody who needs a stem cell transplant.”
Those who register as donors are asked to send away a cheek swab, which is rubbed on the inside of the cheek, for testing.
If a match is found, the donor will be called up. People who have donated stem cells have said the process is no more difficult than giving blood.
As well as helping to find a hero for Ava, those who register could potentially help save the life of someone with a blood cancer such as leukaemia.