Fire Service joins search to find Ava’s hero

Ava at Lochgelly fire station with the red watch

(c) David Wardle
Ava at Lochgelly fire station with the red watch (c) David Wardle

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service has shown its commitment to saving lives by spearheading a new search to find a hero for young Ava Stark.

Ava (3), from Lochgelly, desperately needs a stem cell donor after she lost out on a life-saving transplant for the second time in four months .

A donor who was a rare match was unable to donate, due to medical reasons, at the last moment.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) has an award-winning partnership with blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan and on hearing about Ava’s story it decided to get involved.

An open patient appeal is being held at Lochgelly High School on Saturday between 10am and 4pm for anyone between the ages of 16-30 and in good health.

Andy Watt, who chairs the partnership on behalf of the SFRS, said: “As soon as we heard about Ava’s story we decided to see what we could do to help.

“Staff members from Ava’s local area immediately volunteered.”

By providing a small saliva sample, people can join the stem cell register and become one of Ava’s heroes.

Ava’s mum, Marie, said she had been blown away by the support.

She added: “Ava had an amazing day with the firefighters and they told her they were determined to find a new hero for her. This event won’t just help Ava but could help hundreds of others now and in the future. So please, if you fit the criteria, come along and give a spit and help save my little girl.”

Amy Bartlett, of Anthony Nolan, added:“This is desperately needed and Ava’s search is a real reminder to us all of the need for the public to help us. In particular young men make excellent donors but make up only 15 per cent of the stem cell register so we really need them to come along on the 12th and help address this imbalance.”

To find out how you can save a life go to www.anthonynolan.org/sfrs