In a heart-breaking appeal that no parent should ever have to post, the mum and dad of five-year-old Kaiya Desai, who has been diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of leukaemia, are urgently seeking a stem cell donor to save their little girl’s life. Since her immediate family have not matched as possible donors, The Asian Today is also making a plea to all our readers to consider being tested to see if you might be a life-saving match for young Kaiya. According to bone marrow register Anthony Nolan, black, Asian and other minority ethnic backgrounds are the most underrepresented and urgently require more Asians to register and take a simple cheek swab – a process that takes seconds that could save someone’s life.

In an emotional Facebook plea, Kaiya’s parents have said,

“Kaiya has endured 5 weeks of chemo, blood transfusions, high dose steroids, lumbar punctures and many more invasive and toxic interventions. Despite this, she is happy spirited, attending school and continues to look after her kid sister by helping her get dressed and giving her breakfast. She’s a fighter. Please join her in this fight, and help us save her life.

Kaiya is our world. She is the kindest, big-hearted person you will ever know. She is such a sweet, fun loving girl that makes everyone laugh with her infectious giggle. She is an amazing big sister and we are so proud to have her as our daughter. We want to celebrate her birthdays, see her graduate and have the happy and successful life we’ve dreamt for her. She is destined for big things and only you can help get her there. We are forever indebted to the kindness of our friends and strangers.”

So what can YOU do? It’s simple – there are 3 places that you can go to check if you are are able to help Kaiya or other sick children.

  1. Anthony Nolan – If you are between 16 & 30 years old  – this requires a simple blood test visit https://webforms.anthonynolan.org/…/what-does-joining-invol…> or call 0303 303 0303

2. NHS – If you are between 17 & 40 years old  – this requires a simple blood test at any NHS Blood donor centre but please tell them you wish to join the British Bone Marrow Registry (BBMR) Visit https://www.nhsbt.nhs.uk/british-bone-marro…/how-can-i-help/> – or call 0300 123 23 23

3. DKMS – If you are between 17 & 55 years old – this requires a cheek swab test which you can order from https://www.dkms.org.uk/en/register-now or email datangement@dkms.org.uk for more details.

For people outside the UK please check the link below and sign up to your country’s listed register at https://share.wmda.info/plugins/servlet/mobile#content/view/22808546

If you happen to be a match the next steps are simply to remove blood from one arm, running it through a machine that separates out the stem cells, then returning the blood to the donor through their other arm. This is a non-surgical outpatient procedure and takes around 4-6 hours. It’s as simple as that!

Please register today, spread the word and help give this young girl the gift of life she deserves.

Kaiya’s story can be found on Facebook @bekaiyasdonor or #curekaiya on Twitter/Instagram.

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