All this teenage girl wants for Christmas is a donor who can save her life

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  • If your teens are anything like ours are at Christmas, they can be a bit stroppy to say the least.

    With their hormones all over the shop and us trying to keep up with the latest cool gadget or item of clothing to buy, it can all get a bit stressful! It’s easy to get wrapped up in this sort of thing at Christmas, we all do.

    By contrast, meet Emily Dunn.

    Emily went into remission in April this year, before she was told the cancer had returned in early November.

    From first glance you might think she’s just like any other 17-year-old girl – but she’s far from it.

    Emily’s concerns about Christmas aren’t related to whether she gets the right colour trainers or her favourite album, they aren’t even close. Emily has cancer. This Christmas – apart from actually making it to see the big day – the most important gift she could receive would be the promise of life. 

    Diagnosed in December 2013, Emily has Burkitt lymphoma, which means she has an extremely aggressive form of blood cancer which can spread very quickly. Last year, Emily barely made Christmas Day after the cancer spread to her lungs.

    Emily, pictured here with her mum Donna, was diagnosed with Burkitt lymphoma in December 2013.

    After being told her cancer was in remission in April 2014, Emily and her family – that’s her mum, dad and two younger sisters – were looking forward to being able to enjoy this Christmas. Unfortunately she’s been told that the aggressive cancer is back, and so now all she’s hoping to get from this Christmas is the news that the life-saving bone marrow donor she so desperately needs has been found.

    So, what can you do to help?


    1. You could become a bone marrow donor.

    And how would you do that? Very easily. Emily refers to her potential donor as her ‘hero’, and what qualifies you for the position? Very little really; the donation will need to come from a living person, who’ll suffer no major side effects from donating, but will leave with the knowledge that you may have helped someone in such an extraordinary way. All you need do to get started is register.


    2. Raise awareness by sharing this article.

    And encourage others to do the same. Simply scroll to the top of the page and hit one of the social media buttons under the search bar.

    In Emily’s blogs she writes:

    I’ve never really done things the easy way, otherwise I wouldn’t have done science A levels or done the course at Imperial College last year, or applied to uni without AS levels or even having cancer first time round. Doing things the hard way just gives us the opportunity to achieve more I think.


    ‘So many of you, when faced with bad news think ‘I wish there was something I could do to help.’ To put it frankly there is.

    ‘If you are 16-30 years old, sign up to be a lifesaver via’

    For more information on Burkitt’s lymphoma see

    To read Emily’s inspiring blog see here.