The best friend of leukaemia sufferer Selina Ramanah is hoping that the new influx of students to Kingston University next week will bring fresh hope in the efforts to save the life of the 21 year old.
Selina, who is completing an illustration degree at Kingston, has been seriously ill in hospital in Leeds since May. She needs a bone marrow transplant to stand any chance of survival, but so far appeals for donors have not brought about any successful matches despite more than 100 people attending a special donor clinic in her home town of Huddersfield.
Now fellow student Karen Hall, who has been best friends with Selina since they were both in the sixth form at Greenhead College in Huddersfield, plans to run a stall at next week’s Kingston University Freshers’ Fayre to publicise Selina’s plight.
Karen, 22, who is also studying illustration at Kingston, said that she hoped to persuade all the students at the Fayre to sign up with the Anthony Nolan Trust – the charity which specialises in finding new bone marrow donors in the UK – and attend a special blood donor session taking place on the university’s Penrhyn Road campus on Thursday, October 13.
“I’m determined to make as many people as possible aware that the donor session is happening and hopefully hundreds of people will be willing to sign up to take the blood test,” Karen said. “Selina and I have been such close friends and it’s heartbreaking that she won’t be here for the start of the new term.”
Karen, who has been a regular visitor at Selina’s hospital bedside in the past few months, intends to put her degree course to good use by printing special leaflets to hand out at the Freshers’ Fayre. “I want to use my skills as an illustrator to help Selina’s cause by advertising the donor clinic,” she said. “Using my artwork is the best way I can think of to help.”
Karen will be helped at the Freshers’ Fayre by other students and also by Selina’s tutor, Jake Abrams, who said he was proud to see so many of her young friends rallying round. “The way the students have responded in such a creative and willing way is very moving,” he said.
The Freshers’ Fayre runs from Thursday September 21 to Friday September 22 and is open from 10am to 4pm each day.
People keen to help can also register with the Anthony Nolan Trust at www.anthonynolan.org.uk.