Southsea star of Legally Blonde to take up her biggest role yet – as a lifesaver

LETTER OF THE DAY: Housing - more needs to be done

  • Lauren Kempton donated her DNA to Anthony Nolan Trust nine years ago
  • Has been told she is a potential stem cell match for someone with blood cancer
  • She has starred in many amateur dramatic shows and will play Elle Woods in Legally Blonde next month
0
Have your say

Singer Lauren Kempton is preparing to take to the stage to wow audiences by playing the lead role in the musical Legally Blonde.

The 28-year-old’s voice will fill the Kings Theatre next month when she belts out songs from the hit story of a dizzy blonde who becomes a top lawyer.

Lauren Kempton and boyfriend Peter Hall

Lauren Kempton and boyfriend Peter Hall

But although it’s Lauren’s biggest stage role yet, she’s also gearing up for a much more important performance – as a stem cell donor. Singer Lauren Kempton is preparing to take to the stage to wow audiences by playing the lead role in the musical Legally Blonde.

The 28-year-old’s voice will fill the Kings Theatre next month when she belts out songs from the hit story of a dizzy blonde who becomes a top lawyer.

But although it’s Lauren’s biggest stage role yet, she’s also gearing up for a much more important performance – as a stem cell donor.

The human resources advisor, of Lawrence Road, Southsea, was stunned but very happy to be told she was a match for someone who desperately needed a donation.

The fact is it will make such a big difference to someone’s life

Lauren Kempton

So how did it happen?

She says: ‘I used to work at Scottish and Southern Electric when I first left college.

‘One day nurses from the Anthony Nolan Trust came in and we were asked to volunteer to become potential donors.

‘They were having a push on finding young donors.

‘We had to spit in a cup and our DNA was put on file – that was nine years ago’.

Lauren forgot all about it until she received an e-mail earlier this month to say she could potentially save as life because her DNA matched someone in need.

She says: ‘I replied and they called me to say I was a match for someone.

‘The following day I received some test tubes and I went to the doctors to give them the blood they needed.

‘They e-mailed to let me know they have received it and now I’m waiting to know if I am the closest match.

‘I really hope I am. I will be disappointed if I’m not.

‘People have said to me they think it’s amazing what I’m doing, but it’s just the same as going to give blood. ‘I think anybody in my position would do the same if they thought they could help someone.

‘It’s just a shame that more people don’t know about it and how easy it is’.

If Lauren is a match she will be given hormones to promote growth of extra cells.

They are then removed through a similar procedure to blood donation and implanted into the person with blood cancer.

It is much less invasive than bone marrow donation.

‘It did not really sink in until I spoke to someone whose friend nearly died’ says Lauren.

‘They were on their last chance and had been given just a few months to live. They were young at the time.

‘Anthony Nolan found a match and saved their life.

‘When I heard their story it became real to me. I didn’t realise what a big deal it was until then’.

It will be a little while before Lauren finds out if she is an exact match.

And before then she has the small matter of performing the career-defining role of Elle Woods over three nights at a packed-out theatre with South Downe Musical Society.

Lauren says: ‘I worked abroad for two years as a resident singer for Thomson Holidays.

‘It’s where I met my partner Peter Hall, a sound engineer.

‘I’ve been with South Downe Musical Society for about 10 years.

‘It began as a social thing and most of my best friends are part of it.

‘They produce really good quality shows.

‘I’ve played the lead in Guys And Dolls, South Pacific.

‘With Legally Blonde I’m pretty much on stage for the whole show. There are a lot of costume changes.

‘It’s pretty intense and definitely the most challenging show I’ve ever done.

‘I’m a really big fan of Sheridan Smith. She was amazing in the West End show and she’s my inspiration for this production’.

As well as her stage career and teaching singing, Lauren also works at the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charitable Trust in Portsmouth.

But it is being on stage that she loves the most.

‘When I’m performing I don’t really feel anything at all.

‘It’s once I come out for the bow that it feels like a real sense of achievement.

‘I feel part of something really special.

‘It’s wonderful to be able to do something that you love, with people that you love.

‘It’s a real family atmosphere at South Downe. I get a real buzz.

‘I like dancing and acting but singing has always been my biggest passion.

‘And I love the strong female characters I’ve played.

‘In particular I love the way Elle transforms from being seen as a dizzy blonde to a Harvard-educated lawyer.

‘As well as South Downe I also have my own Princess Parties company. We throw Frozen parties. It’s great fun but can be hard work singing Let It Go 12 or 13 times in a row’.

Now it’s just a matter of waiting and seeing if she is a match for someone who desperately needs help.

She says: ‘I think if I can do it I will feel really happy to help.

‘It’s just a couple of days out of my life, and it’s not anything I’m not used to doing. I’ve always given blood.

‘The fact is it will make such a big difference to someone’s life’.

To watch a video of Lauren, go to portsmouth.co.uk.