By Cihan Şenlik
24-YEAR-OLD Talia Tosun describes by her mother as an incredibly passionate and driven young lady with a zest for life at faces the toughest challenges in her life after being diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leaukimia a form of blood cancer in May.
Talia was born and raised in Edmonton, North London and the 24-year-old this year took the big leap and at the end of February 2019 she bought and moved into her own flat and was ecstatic that her years of diligence had paid off.
Her mother Sadiye explains that “She has conquered much adversity in life through sheer hard work and determination. She is a much loved and valued daughter, sister, friend and colleague. She is empathetic to world causes and has deep-rooted beliefs in equality for all irrespective of gender, race, class, sexuality, age or religion.”
On May 7th she was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leaukimia(ALL) a blood cancer and since this day hers and her family’s have turned lives upside down. At the end of August, she was informed that she needs a bone marrow transplant due to chemotherapy being ineffective.
Unfortunately, her sister isn’t a match, nor is anybody currently on the Anthony Nolan donor register. Talia is of Turkish Cypriot descent and her best possible match would be from somebody of the same ethnicity.
However, there is currently a huge lack of Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic (BAME) donors. Talia’s family and a friend have started a #SwabForTalia appeal to raise awareness and help get more diversify the register and to ensure Talia and others have a chance of getting lifesaving stem cells.
All it takes is a simple swab to check if you could be a match, if you are aged between 16 to 30, in good health and are of Turkish Cypriot, Greek Cypriot, Turkish or Middle-Eastern descent living in the UK you could be a match for Talia.
If you fit these criteria, when all you need to do is sign up to the Anthony Nolan register and you’ll be sent a swab pack in the post. Simply swab both inner cheeks and send back. If you’re a match, they’ll be in touch to verify whether you’re healthy and happy to proceed
90% of donors have their stem cells collected through the bloodstream in a simple process called peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) collection. Only 10% of donors have their stem cells collected via the bone marrow itself.
It takes one simple swab to see if you match Talia and others who are waiting for life-saving donors. If you want to help you can check out this link here.