A few friends and I worked with Lara at UNESCAP Thailand at the end of 2014. I had visited Lara in London a few days before Match4lara campaign started off in early January. During our visit we found out about Lara's diagnosis and that Seb, her brother, was not a match, so we wanted to do something similar to the UK Match4lara campaign.
We created a Facebook page "Match4lara_Italia" and contacted all the institutions and individuals that we thought would be interested in helping or spreading the message. We worked with ADMO (Italian Association of Bone Marrow Donors) to raise awareness about the issue of the low percentage of mixed race people being represented in the global register. ADMO has proved to be a fantastic partner in Italy.
In terms of the success we have had so far, we can say definitively that our media coverage have been exceptional and it keeps on going, including more news in La Repubblica, Leggo.it, and La Stampa.it, SKY TG 24 interview (Campaign and its progress), Pomeriggio Cinque on Channel 5 (Lara and her dad Stefano's short live interview). And of the course the singer Alessio Barnabei wore the Match4Lara shirt in the San Remo 2016 Music Festival in Italy... this was purely his own move, and unsolicited by us.
Although things did not get off to a quick start, we have already registered 907 people and now firmly have the following drives planned:
- A drive in Milan organized by the "Students for Humanity" association, which is the volunteering students association at Bocconi on the 2nd/3rd of March
- Two drives in Turin with ADMO Piemonte
- Two drives in Pisa and Florence with ADMO Toscana and Avis Toscana
- Now trying to arrange a drive in Trieste in March/April
- Short promotional video will be published from Frosinone Calcio (serie A team) which involves the principal Italian sport journals, such as Corriere dello Sport, La Gazzetta dello Sport e Tutto Sport
- Two big radio show (RDS and RTL)
- Work with another association called Ehi Tu! HaiMidollo? which will organize a national day to raise awareness on bone marrow donation on the 24th of September
Mille Grazie to all who have supported Match4lara Italia!!