Newmills mum asks community ‘from the bottom of my heart’ to help save little girl’s life

A Newmills mother, whose daughter is recovering from leukaemia, is asking people from all over Tyrone and Mid Ulster to join the search for a stem cell donor to save the life of a six year-old girl the family befriended while in hospital.

The event, at the Swifts Football Club in the town on Sunday from 10am-4pm, has been organised by Newmills mum, Fiona Brown, whose own daughter Ellie Louise met six year-old Alara Basturk from Belfast when the girls were receiving medical treatment in the Royal Victoria Hospital.

Fiona Brown and her little girl, Ellie Louise, who is recovering well from leukaemia

Fiona Brown and her little girl, Ellie Louise, who is recovering well from leukaemia

Sunday’s stem cell donor recruitment drive coincides with one being held in Belfast tomorrow by the charity, Delete Blood Cancer.

Speaking ahead of the Dungannon stem cell donor session, Fiona Brown told the TIMES she was asking people in the area “from the bottom of my heart” to try and find a suitable donor for little Alara.

“My own daughter, Ellie Louise, just finished her treatment in July last year”, Fiona explains.

“We got to know Alara and her family during our time at the Royal Victoria Hospital with Ellie Louise and I just cannot imagine what her parents are going through to find out that their little girl has relapsed.

“So far the response to the event in the Swifts Football Club has been amazing and people have just been so good, offering to help out on the day. The more people we can get to come and support this, the better chance Alara has of finding a donor which matches.”

Anyone who didn’t get to Sunday’s event can still register online for the kit to carry out the very simple saliva swab test.

More information on how you can help can be found on Delete Blood Cancer’s website,

You will also be able to follow the story on Alara’s search for a donor by visiting the Help Alara Get a Life Back Facebook page