A FAMILY is offering £20,000 for anyone who can be a stem cell or bone marrow sample for an 18-month-old girl with leukaemia.
Elaiya Hameed was diagnosed with a rare cancer – acute myeloid leukemia – in June this year.
It can only be cured with a bone or stem cell transfusion.
Elaiya’s family visits cities across the country hoping to find their mate before it’s too late.
Grandfather Mazhar Iqbal says the family are offering £20,000 to a suitable donor and they are “running out of time”.
He said: “We are offering to turn the world upside down to help my granddaughter. This is a matter of life and death.
“We also hope that this financial incentive will encourage people to sign up to have the very simple blood transfusion performed.
“It’s easier than a Covid test and takes very little time, we just need people to click the link and sign up.
“The money will change their life if they can change my granddaughter’s.”
Mr Iqbal said the whole family has been “devastated” since learning of Elaiya’s leukemia diagnosis seven weeks ago.
On the Instagram campaign page, her parents, Summan and Muzahir Hameed, wrote: “We have just been informed by doctors that Elaiya falls into the ‘high risk’ group.
“This means that standard treatment (chemotherapy) is not enough to help her fight this successfully.
“We have started the search for a bone marrow donor and urgently need your help.
“Our daughter has the spirit of a fighter; Elaiya melts the hearts of everyone she meets.”
The family has now partnered with the charity Anthony Nolan, which helps bring together patients and strangers who are willing to donate their stem cells.
Anyone between the ages of 16 and 30 can register in the non-profit association’s database, while people between the ages of 17 and 55 can register with the DKMS.
Either way, you simply wipe a cheek swab and mail it back in a prepaid return envelope.
If you match someone with blood cancer or a blood disorder, you can help save their life by donating your stem cells.
The most common method for collecting stem cells is peripheral blood stem cell collection, which is not very different from donating blood.
If you belong to an ethnic minority group, you can make an even bigger difference.
Elaiya will most likely need a donor from someone who shares her Pakistani heritage.
Mr Iqbal said: “The biggest problem for Elaiya is that there are not enough Asians, ethnic minorities or people in South Asian countries on the donor list.
“They just don’t go into it.
“For Asian and BAME communities, the ratio of finding a matched stem cell donor in the UK is less than 30 per cent. Whereas an English person has a 90 percent+ chance of finding a match.”
“We just haven’t registered enough people from our communities, but to find out now that so many individuals have registered since the campaign began is amazing.
“My granddaughter obviously touches hearts and wakes people up.”
Elaiya has the same form of leukemia as Azaylia – the daughter of ex-footballer Ashley Kaine and his now ex-girlfriend Safiyya Vorajee.
Azaylia tragically passed away from the disease in April 2021, but her heartbreaking story inspired at least 56,000 people to join Anthony Nolan’s stem cell registry.
Elaiya’s family managed to arrange a practice in Bristol where over 200 people showed up for swab tests.
In total, they were able to process 198 positive registrations in four hours – the second highest the charity has ever recorded.
Two were found to be positive matches with other cancer patients searching for donors, but unfortunately still no match was found for Elaiya.
The family are hosting an operation in Birmingham today and one in Nottingham on July 24.
Elaiya is being treated at Queen’s Medical Center in Nottingham and has just completed her first round of chemotherapy.
Mr Iqbal said: “We were able to take her to Hyde Park for a day with the family.
“Elaiya has very low immunity at the moment so we weren’t allowed to meet her too closely, but she’s back in the hospital and starting the second chemotherapy session.
“Chemotherapy is tough enough, but unimaginable for an 18-month-old baby.
“It just means that finding a match is crucial.
“Anyway, if we find matches through them for other patients, that’s amazing – as we have – because it’s incredible to save someone’s life.”
“But the main goal is to save hers too, she means the world to us.”
dr Suhail Asghar, Clinical Directorate, NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “We don’t have an awareness in the BAME community of the importance of becoming a bone marrow donor so it will not be encouraged until the issue is addressed.
“Children’s chances of success in leading a normal life after a bone marrow transplant are between 80 and 90 percent.”
Click here to register if you are under 30 years old or click here if you are under 55 years old.
https://www.the-sun.com/health/5758947/our-baby-girl-will-die-without-transfusion-offering-20k/ Our little girl will die without a transfusion – we’re offering £20,000 to anyone who fits