There are many children waiting for their perfect match, and it could be you! You can save a life by doing a simple swab test and boosting the diversity of the donor list.
South Africa (04 March 2021) – 14-year-old Naledi was diagnosed with leukaemia in May of 2020 and has been unable to find a blood stem cell match from a South African donor. The Sunflower Fund is raising awareness to help expand its database with the hope to diversify the ethnicity of the database.
Unfortunately, patients of colour are at a distinct disadvantage due to the low number of registered donors from the Black, Coloured and Indian population groups in the global donor database.
The solutions are very simple, people from these ethnic groups need only apply for a swab kit from the Sunflower Fund, and the database will grow.
“Patients of colour have more difficulty finding matching blood stem cell donors because of the low number of registered donors from black, coloured and Indian population groups. When it comes to matching HLA types, a patient’s ethnic background is important in predicting the likelihood of finding a match. This is because HLA markers used in matching are inherited. Some ethnic groups have more complex tissue types than others. So a person’s best chance of finding a donor may be with someone of the same ethnic background. Which is why we encourage everyone to register as a stem cell donor to help as many patients as possible”
The Sunflower Fund is hoping by raising awareness about their database and asking to boost its ethnic diversity, they can find a match for young Naledi, who is currently in need of a life-saving match.
Future Doctor Naledi Hopes to find a Match.
Naledi and her family are asking for your help. Naledi, 14, is battling leukaemia and is in need of a blood stem cell transplant to give her a second chance at life.
This talented, star student dreams of one day becoming a doctor. Naledi was diagnosed in May 2020 after experiencing severe body pains, lack of appetite and fatigue. Her family and friends were devastated by the news; the disbelief overwhelmed Naledi, “since my diagnosis, I cannot perform well in school or sport. I cannot even finish my schooling”.
Leukaemia is a blood cancer caused by a rise in the number of white blood cells in your body. Those white blood cells crowd out the red blood cells and platelets that your body needs to be healthy. The extra white blood cells don’t work optimally.
Unfortunately, Naledi’s siblings are not a match leaving her to rely on an unrelated matching donor.
If you are between the ages of 18-55 and in general good health, request a swab kit to become a stem cell donor today. If you would like to become a donor, you can request a swab kit from the Sunflower Fund here. Please note that due to the pandemic, things are delayed so, please communicate with the organisation regarding any delays.
Should you not qualify to donate your marrow, you can still support the organisation by raising funds for their cause.
Sources: The Sunflower Fund
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