South Africans are continuing their fight to help save Daniella Van Zyl by raising funds and registering as blood stem cell donors.
South Africa (27 October 2020) – It has been exactly a month since we shared Daniella Van Zyl’s harrowing tale of battling cancer through the lockdown and trying to raise enough money for a life-saving bone marrow transplant.
If you missed her story, here is a quick catch up. Daniella is having a 2020 like no other! Just like the rest of us, it started as a year filled with promise. She accomplished many milestones, from starting a new career to moving into her first home without her parents.
She imagined a very bright future for herself and had quite a few goals to accomplish, but then her life took a turn. Just a month before the South African Lockdown, Daniella got the news that she has an aggressive form of Leukemia.
“My name is Daniella Van Zyl I am 26 years old and on the 3rd of March 2020 I was diagnosed with Philadelphia Chromosome positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (Ph+ALL) a rare type of blood cancer which requires me to have a lifesaving Bone Marrow Transplant. Given the severity of my condition, I was given 8 months to live. But my conviction remained; “I am not ready to die!”
It has been almost 7 months since my diagnosis and after 4 high doses of chemotherapy, 5 Bone Marrow Biopsies, 4 Spinal Taps and 17 Blood Transfusions I am finally ready to receive a transplant that gives me a second chance at life, only to find out on the 9th of September 2020 that my medical aid does not cover the procedure and I would need to fund the transplant myself.
To receive the news that for me to overcome this illness it is going to cost me an estimated R1.5 million, was devastating. But, as the same woman who knew she wasn’t ready to give up then, I am even more determined to keep fighting for my life now.”
A crowdfund was launched for her and has already raised R476 470.40. It is incredible what South Africans have done to get her story shared as far and as wide as possible. Time is running out, and they still need to raise more towards her life-saving bone marrow transplant.
People have started running their own fundraising events in the hopes of adding to the fundraising goal. Golf days and swimming marathons are happening across South Africa. Even the Parlatones shared Daniella’s crowdfund in the hopes of reaching more people.
There is one other hiccup that they need to overcome.
“We recently received the news that there isn’t a single South African Donor Match for my Bone Marrow Transplant which means our search has now become worldwide making the cost of my transplant even higher as harvesting stem cells from overseas is extremely expensive.
I urge everyone to become a stem cell donor & save a life”
Daniella is urging her fellow South Africans to register as bone marrow donors. The more people that do so, the better her chances are of finding a donor.
According to the Sunflower Fund, there are over 37 million registered donors worldwide but unfortunately not a single match for Daniella. The number of registered donors in South Africa is very low, making it even harder for her to find a match.
If you are aged 18 – 45, and in general good health, you can register as a blood stem cell donor today. Registering is a straight forward process that you can do from home, and you could potentially give Daniella or others like her a second chance at life.