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Match found for toddler needing stem cell transplant


A match has been found for Hazel Richardson, a two-year-old girl from Bishop’s Stortford with a rare form of leukaemia who needs a stem cell transplant.

Local newspaper the Saffron Walden Reporter highlighted Hazel’s plight on Christmas Eve. Since then there has been a ten-fold increase in the number of people signing the stem cell register of blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan.

Celebrities such as TV presenter Bear Grylls, actor Danny Dyer, musician Harry Judd and chef Jamie Oliver helped spread the word, according to Hazel’s father Patrick, who said he, Hazel’s mother Alice and baby brother Wilbur were relieved and delighted that a donor has be found, and had been overwhelmed by the response to their appeal.

Finding a perfect match for a stem cell transplant means there is no chance of the body rejecting the stem cells, meaning the patient will not have to take anti-rejection medication for the rest of their life.

The most painless and non-invasive way of harvesting stem cells is to from naturally shed teeth. The best stem cells are those taken from lost baby teeth, as their quality will not have been diminished by age or pollution. The stem cells are then stored in a tooth bank until such time as they are required for medical treatment.

Donating stem cells through the Anthony Nolan register is as simple as giving blood and Hazel, who was diagnosed in October, could receive her new stem cells in similarly uncomplicated fashion.

Anthony Nolan thanked the Saffron Walden Reporter for its support and said: “It is fantastic to hear that a matching donor has been found for April. Her bravery has inspired many people to join the register as potential donors, all of whom have the potential to make a difference in the life of someone with blood cancer.”