Stem cell donor found for BBC's Sue Lloyd-Roberts

A matching stem cell donor has been found for investigative journalist Sue Lloyd-Roberts, who has aggressive leukaemia and has been told a stem cell transplant is her best hope of survival.

Blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan searched the worldwide registers and was able to find an individual whose tissue type matched her own and who is available to donate.

Lloyd-Roberts (pictured, credit: BBC) is now scheduled to have her transplant at University College Hospital later this month.

The 62-year-old said: "I was on a filming assignment in Westminster Abbey earlier this week and I thought I'd light a candle while I was there. Almost immediately afterwards, my phone went 'ping' and it was an email from the hospital, telling me that there was a matching donor who was available to donate right away.

"The donor, whoever it is, has come to my rescue just in time because I need to have the transplant before I slip out of remission. If the news had come any later or they'd not been available so quickly, it's very likely I would have become too unwell to go through with the transplant."

The donor, whose identity must be kept anonymous due to strict patient-donor confidentiality regulations, is a "good match" and is in "good health", according to Lloyd-Roberts's doctors.

Describing her feelings towards her anonymous donor, Lloyd-Roberts said simply: "I love them."

Lloyd-Roberts, who is married to BBC producer Nick Guthrie, was originally due to have her transplant in May. But to her "astonishment and huge disappointment", days before she was due to go in to hospital, she was told the donor was no longer able to donate because of health reasons.

The mother-of-two had to go "back to the drawing board" and her BBC colleagues rallied around to urge people to join the Anthony Nolan register.

People aged 16-30 can join the register at www.anthonynolan.org.

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