A 2-year-old Indian-Pakistani American girl in Texas is in need of a lifesaving bone marrow donor and her family has partnered with nonprofit DKMS to find a match.
Alesha Kajani was diagnosed with bone marrow failure just before her first birthday, meaning she cannot produce her own blood cells. Her family has teamed up with DKMS, the nonprofit leading the fight against blood cancer, to find her a lifesaving match and urges individuals to join the registry, according to a DKMS news release
Unfortunately, DKMS notes, Alesha’s South Asian background makes it more difficult to find a match.
While patients find the best match in those who share the same ancestry, minorities are severely underrepresented in the bone marrow registry, greatly reducing their odds of finding a match.
Since Alesha is Indian-Pakistani, those who share similar backgrounds are most likely to be a match for the young girl; however, everyone is encouraged to register.
Now, at just 2 and a half years old, the young toddler is currently fighting for her life with only five percent of her cells remaining, the release said.
According to DKMS, 70 percent of people suffering from blood-related illnesses must rely on donors, often complete strangers, to save their life. Swabbing your cheek is all it takes to register as a potential donor.
Anyone in good health standing between the ages of 18-55 is encouraged to attend and register. The process involves filling out a simple form, understanding the donation methods and swabbing the inside of each cheek for 30 seconds, the release said.
To learn more or register as a potential donor, visit www.dkms.org/register.