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  1. ITV Report

Stem cell donors step forward to save three-year-old girl with rare blood disorder

Ava sufferes from a rare and potentially fatal blood condition Credit: Marie Stark / PA

Two stem cell donors have stepped forward to help save a three-year-old with a potentially fatal blood condition following an international campaign.

Marie Stark, whose daughter Ava suffers from a rare blood disorder, told ITV News that two donors had been found.

"We got the news that two matches for donors had been found late last week. We didn't believe it," she told ITV News.

Ava, who currently had to undergo a platelet transplant every week and a blood transplant every three weeks, and must spend time in strict isolation, is now preparing for the life-changing transplant operation.

"Ava's been fine, Ms Stark told ITV News. "She's struggling today with her second round of chemotherapy - she's been sick and screaming - but she's a brave girl and she's handling it alright for now.

"I just want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for coming forward and helping save my daughter."

A donor was found for Ava after an international campaign Credit: Marie Stark / PA

A donor is difficult to find as candidates must be a perfect match, with 10 out of 10 identical genetic markers, and the family has been disappointed in the past, with potential donors pulling out on two separate occasions.

A stem cell donor typically donates via blood but a small number of donors need to donate via bone marrow, which can mean a hospital stay of a couple of days.

The appeal launched to find a donor for Ava was one of the largest by the Anthony Nolan Trust, a charity that helps people with blood cancer.

The trust said that more than 20,000 people applied to join the donor's register in one week alone off the back of the campaign.