ANY one of more than 70 new blood donors could be key to the life of a Harrow schoolgirl who relies on just a handful of people to supply the platelets she needs to stay alive.

Devaanshi Mehta, 13, of Manor Road, has a rare blood disorder called aplastic anaemia that required two bone marrow transplants in 2007 and 2008 from her younger brother, who was then aged just two.

She is now fronting a campaign to encourage more people to give up a pint of the red stuff and join the bone marrow register.

The Observer highlighted last month how a chronic national shortage of blood and blood products means the teenager and her family worry whether there will be enough platelets available to keep her alive each time she goes in for a transfusion every eighth day at Harrow's Northwick Park Hospital.

The Mehta family supported a blood donor drive in Leicester Square at the Global Radio studios on Saturday, June 26, run by the African-Caribbean Leukaemia Trust (ACLT), followed by a bone marrow donor registration event at the RTC Hall in Headstone Lane, Harrow, on Saturday, organised by The Anthony Nolan Trust.

ACLT co-founder Beverley De-Gale said: "Seventy-seven people signed up to commence the process of giving blood and all were given an explanation about becoming blood platelet donors. Of the 77 we registered, 51 also regis-tered to become organ donors.

"That's 77 more people who will hopefully consider becoming a platelet donor for Devaanshi. There are currently just six people who are donating the platelets exclusively for her and if you have a period where any of them are feeling unwell or taking medication or are on holiday, there is going to be a problem."

Victoria Moffett, the Anthony Nolan Trust's communications officer, said: "Thirty-seven people attended the recruitment event in Harrow on Saturday.

"We had hoped for a better turnout, but the promising thing is that almost all of those were recruited were from Asian backgrounds.

"As just four per cent of people on our register are from the Asian community, we urgently need more Asian people to join the register and I would urge anyone who couldn't attend on the day to go to our website to find out more about joining."

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