Great news for Ayesha and for donor appeal

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Newton Mearns girl Ayesha Siddiqui has finally found her long-awaited donor — and her story has spurred on Shawlands students to sign their name to saving lives in the future.

The Kirkhill Primary pupil is no stranger to The Extra as, following a leukaemia diagnosis in 2011, the Siddiqui family has raised more than £200,000 for Anthony Nolan through Ayesha’s Appeal.

Ayesha (11) is finally on her way to recovery, having found a generous donor.

Now, the charity is encouraging members of the public to post #AyeshasWarriors selfies to wish her luck, as well as extending its donor campaign to 16-18-year-olds in Glasgow schools — an idea put forward by Noreen.

Shawlands pupils stepped up to the plate this week, posing for their own warrior selfies — and 23 of them also signed the Anthony Nolan register.

Noreen said: “It’s been a rollercoaster of a week, with Ayesha finally receiving her long-awaited stem cell transplant and beginning her road to recovery.

“Seeing these selfless teenagers joining the Anthony Nolan register just days later means a great deal to us all, as any of them could end up saving the life of a child like Ayesha in the future.

“I’m very grateful to the council for being so supportive of the idea when I first approached them and told them all about our visiion of educating young people all over Scotland, through the Register & Be a Lifesaver programme.”

For the teenagers involved, the effects of the decision could be life-changing, as they could be called on any day between now and their 60th birthday to donate stem cells to someone in need — but Shawlands pupil Adam commented: “I’d be honoured to help if I ever did come up as a match.”

Amy Bartlett, regional register development manager at Anthony Nolan, said: “Shawlands students have shown that young people in Scotland do have the selflessness and the maturity to save lives, once they’re informed about how easy it is to join the Anthony Nolan register.

“This is the first time we’ve partnered with a council in this way to spread our lifesaving message, and we hope this will be the first step towards rolling out a nationwide Register & Be a Lifesaver programme.”