Charlie Craig’s dad lends support to Dungannon stem cell drive for seriously ill girl

Newmills mum gets support at Dungannon stem cell drive
Newmills mum gets support at Dungannon stem cell drive

The Dungannon community turned out in force today to help find a stem cell match for a little girl who is seriously ill and battling leukaemia for the second time.

The event, at the Swifts Football Club in the town, was organised by Newmill’s 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.

Now, little Alara is facing the fight of her young life to find someone who is a match for stem cells, which, it is hoped, will give her the best chance of recovery.

Today, 125 people - among them the father of little Charlie Craig who faced a similar battle and is now recovering well after a stem cell transplant - completed the simple five minute saliva swab test to see whether they might be the donor Alara needs.

More than £700 was also raised for the charity Delete Blood Cancer.

Fiona thanked the local community for their support today, as well as the volunteers who gave freely of their time and those who donated prizes for a raffle.

She also urged anyone who wasn’t able to make the event to register online for Alara’s urgent appeal.

Registrations can be made at and more information about how to help little Alara can be found on the Help Alara Get a Life Back Facebook page.

Meanwhile, 16 to 18 year-olds can join the Anthony Nolan register, details of which can be found online.