Photo Credit: DKMS

12-year-old Inamandla dreams of being South Africa’s next netball star; to become that, she needs to beat Acute Myeloid Leukaemia with the help of a stem-cell match.


KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa (02 November 2022) – 12-year-old netball fan and hopeful star Inamandla was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia in January 2022 and has spent the last few months fighting off the disease. Inamandla now needs to find a stem-cell match.

She first started showing symptoms by way of severe gum bleeds. The doctors started running tests and performed a blood transfusion as she has lost too much blood. The prognosis and eventual diagnosis came as a big shock to Londiwe, Inamandla’s mother.

“When the doctor told me that she has Acute Myeloid Leukaemia I was very confused because there’s no history of cancer in our family and I knew nothing about blood cancer. But I had to stay strong for my daughter and I needed her to get better which is why I gave consent for her to start immediately chemotherapy,” 

By June 2022, everyone in the family had been tested to see if they were a stem-cell match. Sadly, there were no viable matches. The next step is to find a match within South Africa, or the world but so far, no matches have been found.

“It’s been hard because she’s my only child and I am a single mother. Her father passed away in 2019. It’s also hard because people keep asking why she doesn’t have any hair and trying to explain what’s going on isn’t easy,”

To help Inamandla find her match, DKMS has launched a global campaign to get more South Africans registered.

How to help and why you should

DKMS Africa shared that a blood stem cell is an immature cell that can develop into all types of blood cells, including white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. Blood stem cells are found in the peripheral blood and the bone marrow. Also called a hematopoietic stem cell.

Registering to become a blood stem cell donor takes 5 minutes on the DKMS website. It’s free, requires no surgery, and does not depend on blood type.

Once registered, a swab kit will be sent to you and then collected so your swabs can be sent to the lab for typing before you are added to the global registry. If you are a match for someone, DKMS will contact you directly.

“The chances of being a match for someone are currently 1 in 100 000 and a South African is diagnosed with a blood cancer or blood disorder every 72 minutes.

Black, Coloured, Indian, and Asian patients have a 19% chance of finding a match and a second chance at life.

Matches are based on tissue type and a patient is most likely to match with someone of the same ethnic group which is why having a diverse donor registry improves the chances of these patients finding a match. You will only be required to donate your stem cells if you are found to be a match for someone.” – DKMS

DKMS has registered over 10.5 million donors globally and facilitated more than 91 000 transplants; this means 91 000 second chances of life for patients suffering from a life-threatening blood disorder.

Having more donors improves the chances that a patient will be able to find their match. Getting more people to register means correcting longstanding misconceptions about what it means to be a bone marrow donor. Being a donor is not as painful, invasive or permanent as many people believe.

If you are between the ages of 18 – 55 and in general good health, request a swab kit at It starts with a swab, and it ends with saving a life!

There are other ways to support blood cancer and blood disorder patients if you are not eligible to donate blood stem cells. You can help DKMS Africa spread awareness, host donor drives, contribute financially and order and distribute swab kits to your network. You can find out more here.

Sources: DKMS
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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