SCORES of people have offered a Hampshire schoolgirl a gift that could save her life.
Zara Al Shaikh desperately needs a stem cell donor so that she can win her battle against cancer.
More than 850 generous strangers turned out at an event to see if they could save the 13-year-old from Winchester after her dad Loua made an urgent plea for help in the Daily Echo.
Now charity Delete Blood Cancer which is helping the Kings’ Schoolgirl find a stem cell match have said the event at St Peters Church could help save even more people.
The charity announced they had recruited at nearly 20 times their average daily rate, enlisting hundreds who could help some of the 2,000 UK patients including Zara, who are looking for a stem cell match.
A charity spokeswoman said: “We want to thank the people of Winchester for showing blood cancer what they are made of by registering as potential blood stem cell donors in huge numbers.
“We had already seen a huge number of people from the area register online with us, so it was wonderful that another huge amount came and registered at the donor recruitment event on Saturday.
For more information visit deletebloodcancer.org.uk.
“Matches with patients in need of a blood stem cell donation will result from this, in the near future, but also for years to come.”
Volunteers were given a glass of water to clean the palette before wiping swabs on each of their inside cheeks for 60 seconds.
The swabs are sent off for testing and matches are returned within three to six weeks. Stem cells are then removed through the blood or bone marrow and injected into the patient to purge their body of cancer cells.
Swabs can be ordered online to help Zara and others like her, and any healthy UK adult aged between 18 and 55 can take part.