A match is found for Hazel the toddler needing a stem-cell transplant

Hazel Richardson

Hazel Richardson - Credit: Archant

A match has been found for Hazel Richardson, the two-year-old girl with a rare form of leukaemia whose plight was highlighted in The Reporter on Christmas Eve.

There was a tenfold increase in would-be donors signing the Anthony Nolan register after the story saying that Hazel needed a stem cell transplant.

Hazel’s father Patrick said: ‘We are so relieved and happy to hear the news that a donor for Hazel has been found and confirmed.

“This is the news that we have been hoping and praying for. It has been staggering to hear how so many people have responded to and shared our appeal all over the world.

“Thank you to all our supporters including Harry Judd, Jamie Oliver, Danny Dyer and Bear Grylls. As parents of one of the little children affected by leukaemia, this is awe-inspiring and we are so, so grateful. Thank you all for your support and we will continue to update you with Hazel’s progress on the next step of her journey.”

He added: “We will go on supporting Anthony Nolan in all the great work that the charity does, as there are so many other families who need a donation from a stranger to save a life of a special person.”

To donate stem cells, the procedure is as simple as giving blood and Hazel, from Bishop’s Stortford, could receive her new stem cells via a similarly straightforward process.

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The Anthony Nolan Trust thanked the Reporter for the paper’s support and said: ‘It’s fantastic to hear that a matching donor has been found for Hazel.

“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.

“Our goal is to find a match for everyone who needs a transplant, and we are grateful to everyone who has come forward because of this appeal to support the work of Anthony Nolan.

“There were 125 people who gave Hazel’s campaign online as the reason for signing up, but not everyone ticks this box so the true number could be higher. The campaign also reached about 40,000 people on Facebook.”