A leukaemia patient is pleading for ‘second chance’ in life as she struggles to find a matching stem cell donor.

Talia Tosun, 24, who was raised in Edmonton, is struggling to find a matching stem cell donor to help treat her Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia.

Ms Tosun discovered she had leukaemia in April 2019, where she was told that her condition would mainly be resolved by February 2020. After undergoing stages of intense chemotherapy for six weeks, she discovered that the ineffective treatment meant she instead needs a bone marrow transplant.

Unfortunately, the likelihood in finding the best possible match from a stranger is very low for people from a black, Asian or ethnic minority (BAME) background. Caucasians have a 69 per cent chance to find a possible stem cell match, while BAME patients have an only 20 per cent chance.

Ms Tosun, who has a Turkish Cypriot background, is distraught over the low chances of finding a match. She said: “It’s sad to think because of ethnicity and genetics, you’re a lot less likely to have treatment. We live in London, a super diverse environment!

“I think there are less donations (from BAME) as there is not enough awareness for people to know that this is an issue to begin with.”

Doctors had first tested her sister to see if she had a matching stem cell, since siblings have the highest chance to carry a match. Yet even her sister was incompatible.

An ideal match for Ms Tosun would be someone in good health, aged between 16-30, with Turkish Cypriot, Greek Cypriot, Turkish or Middle Eastern descent.

Alternatively, doctors have suggested that Ms Tosun could instead attempt to use her parents half-matched stem cells, as her parents carry half of her genes, which has a higher risk of not working.

Now Ms Tosun has been forced to temporarily leave her job at iTech, a website management company, due to her commitments of mainly being in hospital. She has however received an overwhelming support from her colleagues, who are supporting her campaign to find a matching donor, as well as other friends and family.

Anthony Nolan, a blood cancer charity, reached out to Ms Tosun after becoming aware of her story. While their register of potential stem cell donors cannot find a match for her, the iTech office is pushing a campaign with Anthony Nolan to raise awareness in encouraging people to carry out swab tests and become registered for stem cell donation.

Ms Tosun is now pleading for more people to register and sent their swab tests to potentially help herself and others. She said: “I’d like to say thanks for giving this a consideration, if it’s a match you’re giving me a second chance of life, or even someone else, and that would be amazing.

“I think people should know that the swab test and then the procedure is completely painless. And the chances of matching donations being successful and having a full recovery is super high.”

To register to Anthony Nolan and receive a free swab test pack, click here.