Margot Martini is a beautiful girl in desperate need of a bone marrow donor.
As you may know – I help. Or, try to at least. In doing so, many of you have reached out to me to see if you too can ‘help’ in some way which makes me damn happy. Finding ways for you to do exactly this has therefore become an added focus of mine – How can I help people help others?
Hence this idea of running HelpMobs. Simply put, a HelpMob is a “public gathering of complete strangers who descend upon one of more people who need some help, without them knowing.” It was time to try one.
Last week I pushed out an invite on Facebook and Twitter which was then fortunately featured on the TimeOut magazine blog, asking anyone and everyone to come join me at 11am outside the Boots store by Notting Hill Gate tube on Saturday 1st of February.
Despite no one knowing what it was we’d actually be doing (the only details given about the day were those above) and aside from the initial (and bloody typical) confusion of there actually being 2 Boots stores within 50 metres of the tube, by 11am there were over 50 of you fine people gathered and raring to go.
It was then that I explained to the group the plan for these HelpMobs, saying that “some would be fun, others bizarre and the rest worthy”. I knew though, that our efforts needed on this day were to be for the worthiest of causes.
I told everyone that a few minutes walk down the road was a venue called The Tabernacle, and that from 11am to 4pm throughout the day there was a donor drive for this incredible little girl, Margot Martini. Margot has leukaemia and her search for a stem cell / bone marrow donor is getting critical. Here’s a video explaining more.
With 50 of us, a few placards and 2,500 pre printed flyers, I suggested we ‘mob’ the local area and do our best to direct as many people there as possible in order for them to get a simple swab of the cheek to see if they’d be a match for Margot.
And so we set off, up and down portobello road dishing out flyers in between the odd chant and busker duet to get people’s attention whilst they went about their Saturday morning business.
Soon, we arrived at The Tabernacle where we introduced ourselves to Margot’s parents, Yaser and Vicki, and the a team of friends, family and others who had been touched by what was going on and wanted to lend a hand. The place was busy with swabbers and bracelet, t-shirt and cake sales to raise money for the wider cause. We ourselves got swabbed and headed out the door again to do another mini mob before returning towards the end of the drive to see how they were getting on.
As the day came to and end, I looked back with a very mixed set of emotions. How amazing it was that 50 people gave up there time to do something so important. As ever, it was brilliant to meet new people, to hear their stories and to see them so eagerly rush about Notting Hill to raise awareness for Margot and her need for a donor.
Most inspiring of all though, as I’m sure all the HelpMobbers will agree with, were the people there at the Tabernacle – #TeamMargot as they’ve become known. The work by them and events company Total Management was an inspiration to see. Better still, was the warmth and energy of Yaser and Vicki. They are two incredible people who in doing what they’re doing, will be saving the lives of many leukaemia sufferers around the country. Over the course of the weekend, (there was another donor drive on Sunday in East Sheen) they gathered 1,388 new donor registrations and raised £26,127.15 in funds. This is utterly breathtaking and a complete honour to have been a very small part of.
But of course there’s still a job to be done. So if you’re in between the ages of 18 and 55 and have just a few minutes spare, please spend that time registering for a swab kit here. We don’t get anywhere in life by doing nothing but when where we want to get to is a place where a beautiful girl is healthy again, there’s never a more compelling reason to click, register, swab and post.
Thank you again for those that came – details of future (monthly) HelpMobs will be coming shortly.
Thank you Yaser, Vicki and #TeamMargot for being the inspiration you are.
Lots of Love, hope and wishes to little Margot.