Young Naledi (14) and her family are in desperate need of your help. This star student has a bright future ahead of her, but is currently battling leukaemia and is in need of a blood stem cell transplant to give her a second chance at life.
Naledi was diagnosed with leukaemia in May 2020 after experiencing severe body pains, lack of appetite and fatigue. It was a hard thing to accept for her family and friends, and Naledi herself. Since her diagnosis, she has struggled to perform well in school and sport like she once did.
Leukaemia is a type of cancer affecting the body’s blood-forming tissues, including the bone marrow and the lymphatic system. There are many forms of this cancer, some of which are more common in children.
For those battling leukaemia, their bone marrow produces an abnormal amount of white blood cells, important in fighting infection, which cannot function properly.
“Every year, thousands of patients around the world are diagnosed with leukemia and other blood-related diseases. In the past, this diagnosis was often fatal. Today, a blood stem cell transplant can be a potentially life-saving treatment for more than 70 different diseases,” explains the Sunflower Fund.
“A blood stem cell transplant replaces a person’s defective stem cells with healthy ones. More than 50 000 patients worldwide receive transplants every year, and this number continues to rise.”
Naledi is in need of a bone marrow transplant but sadly, her siblings are not a match. As such, she must rely on the public to find a suitable donor. Unfortunately, finding a suitable donor with a similar tissue type is very difficult, meaning many patients who could benefit from this life-saving procedure do not get the treatment they desperately need.
“Patients of colour are at a distinct disadvantage due to the low number of registered donors from black, coloured and Indian population groups in the global donor database,” explains the Sunflower Fund. “In order to give patients like Naledi the best chance at life, it is vital to grow an ethnically diverse registry of donors in South Africa.”
The Sunflower Fund is appealing to citizens to register to become a blood stem cell donor. Who knows, you could be the perfect match for Naledi or someone like her and help save a life.
To become a potential blood stem cell donor:
– Check your eligibility and request a swab kit on the Sunflower Fund website
– Complete the swabs they courier to you at home or your office and send them back.
Once they receive your swabs, they will analyse your tissue type and add your details on The Sunflower Fund partnered by DKMS’s stem cell registry in an anonymised form. Your details will then be part of blood stem cell donor searches for people all over the world who need a genetic match to get a second chance at life.
If you are between the ages of 18-55 and in general good health, please request a swab kit to register as a potential stem cell donor today on the Sunflower Fund’s website: www.sunflowerfund.org/be-a-donor/
Picture/s: Facebook / The Sunflower Fund