The mission of charity Team Margot is every individual, particularly those of mixed heritage, to register as a stem cell and bone marrow donor.
At least 500 pubs will be taking part in its week-long drive to encourage donors to swab their cheeks and register as donors, during ‘Pinkspiration Week’, which is running on 23-30 July.
It is especially difficult for blood cancer patients with mixed family heritage to find suitable donor matches, with 2,000 people in the UK in desperate need of a bone marrow or stem cell transplant.
The charity was founded in 2015 by the family of two-year-old Margot Martini, who passed away after being unable to find her ‘perfect match’.
It is hoped that 1.5m new people will register in the week, a number that could potentially save up to 15,000 lives.
Pubs can ‘think pink’ with initiatives like pink drinks lists, pink-inspired food, or staff members wearing the colour to start conversations with punters.
The registration goal is the same number of strokes it will take a four-person rowing team to complete a 3,000-mile journey – backed with the hashtag #WeRowYouRegister.
Strangers at the bar
Charity founder Yaser Martini said: “We are asking people to swab their cheeks and join the register.
“It’s quick and easy to do, and it’s incredible to think that a stranger standing next to you at the bar could be your ‘perfect match’ and lifesaver, if you needed a stem cell transplant. But you wouldn’t know that, unless they were on the register.”
Anyone between 17 and 55, who is in general good health, can join the register via a simple swab test.
Operators can access images and messages to use to communicate the campaign to customers on the Team Margot website.
Martini added: “We are delighted with operators’ response to Pinkspiration Week so far, and confident that many more pubs, bars and restaurants will come on board.
"Those that have signed up say they’re pleased to support the initiative as it is fun, promotes a worthy cause that everyone can get behind – and doesn’t involve rattling a collecting tin at their customers.”
He said: “Community is what our industry excels at. The more people who go on the register, the better the chance that those who need treatment will find a match.”