The parents of a girl battling a deadly blood disorder are begging people to join the stem cell donor register to save her life after her only match in the world pulled out at the last minute.
Evie Hodgson, eight, who suffers from aplastic anaemia, was due to have a bone marrow transplant this month but her donor backed out at the last possible moment.
Her mum, Tina, says the chances of finding another donor are so slim that doctors are now planning a different course of treatment. But, in future, a stem call transplant is Evies best hope of being cured.
The schoolgirl, from Whitby, North Yorks, was first taken to hospital with a rash and was diagnosed with aplastic anaemia in May.
After a global donor search was launched, a 10/10 match was found and the anonymous donor agreed to the procedure. In preparation, Evie had to have dental work and one of her ovaries was removed. But on August 14 the donor pulled out.
Tina, 37, who works at RAF Flyingdales, in Pickering, North Yorks, said: We were devastated, it was a huge blow. We have no idea why the donor changed their mind. Evie has already been through so much. She thought she had a donor and now she doesnt.
The donor pulling out is quite hard-hitting, but we want to raise awareness of the stem cell register. Its so easy to be a donor. Its just like giving blood, but you could save a childs life. Its so easy to join but only 1% of the UK population is registered.
Evie said: I need this transplant to save my life. Please sign the register to help.
Tina added: The condition Evie has is life-threatening. She wont survive without a transplant. We are desperately appealing for people to sign the stem cell register.
Evie was diagnosed with the condition after she developed a pin-prick rash on her back, which didnt fade. Tests revealed she had low blood platelet levels and she was told she needed a bone marrow transplant.
Aplastic anaemia is a rare life-threatening condition where the bone marrow fails to produce enough blood cells. Around 100-150 people are diagnosed in the UK each year.
Treatment can include immunosuppressants, chemotherapy, blood transfusions, or blood and bone marrow transplants.
Neither Tina, dad Andy, 49, or brother William, five, were a match and so an international search was launched.
Tina said: Our world crumbled when Evie was diagnosed. Evie knew shed need chemotherapy. She donated her hair to The Little Princess Trust, after making friends with poorly children who have lost all their hair.
Evie will be treated with immunosuppressants while the search for a donor continues.
Blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan is looking for stem cell donors between the ages of 16-30.
Research shows that younger donors result in better outcomes for patients.
To find out how to donate click here.