NEWS

Samantha Armytage urges fans to help her find a stem cell donor

The former Sunrise host’s family friend is suffering from cancer…
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Samantha Armytage has implored her fans to help find a suitable stem cell donor for her family friend, Maggie Banyard.

Taking to Instagram, Samantha explained that Maggie’s a 14 year old suffering from Acute Myeloid Leukaemia, a rare form of blood cancer, and she’s in desperate need of a stem cell transplant.

WATCH: Samantha Armytage breaks down as she quits Sunrise

“ATTENTION‼️ all you good people of the Illawarra (& beyond!) ‼️Maggie Banyard is a family friend of ours.. she’s a beautiful 14 year old girl – diagnosed with a bloody horrible form of leukaemia.. [sic],” Samantha wrote.

“I know you’ve all got lots on atm [at the moment] but please help spread the word: the family is looking for a suitable stem cell donor to help save Maggie’s life.. go to @match4maggie for more info #matchformaggie 🙏🏻 xxx [sic],” she concluded.

The former Sunrise host also shared a link to the Match For Maggie website.

samantha armytage
Samantha has asked her fans to spread the word that her family friend, Maggie Banyard – a 14 year old girl suffering from cancer – needs to find a stem cell donor. (Credit: Instagram)

Maggie initially felt sick with a sore throat and a headache. And after a trip to her GP, she was diagnosed with tonsillitis.

But later that night, Maggie’s parents, Chantal and Dan Banyard were called and told to take Maggie to the emergency department as her blood tests showed a low white blood cell count.

From there, Maggie was rushed to Sydney Children’s Hospital in Randwick and the family learnt she actually had cancer.

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“We told Maggie she had leukaemia, but she didn’t really understand,” Chantal, Maggie’s mum, told news.com.au.

“Then we said, ‘Maggie you have blood cancer’. She burst into tears and our whole world fell apart.”

“The next few days were a blur,” Maggie’s dad, Dan, said.

maggie banyard
None of Maggie’s immediate family members are bone marrow matches, which is why Samantha has asked her fans for help. (Credit: Instagram)

“Maggie deteriorated quickly and her white blood cell count was climbing at an alarming rate.”

Maggie has now undergone ten debilitating days of chemotherapy, a lumbar puncture and multiple surgeries to treat her leukaemia but she’s stayed incredibly resilient and positive throughout.

She even shaved her head before she lost it to chemotherapy, so that the loss was on her own terms. Maggie’s parents, brother, Billy and friends have also shaved their heads to support her.

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Despite her resilience, Maggie desperately needs to find a stem cell donor (none of her immediate family members are matches) and fast; her life depends on it.

“For a permanent cancer-free diagnosis, Maggie needs a bone-marrow transplant from a perfect match,” Dan said.

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