UK teen becomes youngest donor of stem cells to non-relative

A 17-year-old girl in the UK has become the youngest person in the world to donate stem cells to a non-relative.

London: A 17-year-old girl in the UK has become the youngest person in the world to donate stem cells to a non-relative.

Victoria Rathmill, from Macclesfield in England, decided to donate after a family friend was found to have leukaemia.

"It`s been extremely overwhelming - I`m just a girl from Macclesfield, so this has all been quite a lot of attention, which I`m not used to. Loads of people at school have been asking me about it," she said.

In October 2012, Britain became the first country to lower the age limit at which people can donate stem cells from 18 to 16, `The Times` reported.

After volunteers from Anthony Nolan, a UK charity, gave a talk at Victoria`s school she decided to sign up for their register.

Anthony Nolan maintains a stem cell register that enables leukaemia patients who need a stem cell, bone marrow or cord blood transplant to find a match.

Usually, it takes an average of six years between someone joining the bone marrow register and a match being found.

But in Victoria`s case it was just six months before a match was found and she received the call shortly after turning 17.

Victoria has donated twice because the patient was larger than she is and required more cells.

Victoria will not be told the identity of the recipient of her donation for two years but is keen that they should eventually meet.

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