A four-year-old girl who was diagnosed with leukaemia in May has just three weeks to live unless a bone marrow donor is found.
The family of Esha Nadeswaran is pleading for potential donors to come forward as her parents are not a match nor is her nine-year-old sister which means only a stranger can save her life.
The youngster, who lives with Mum Kavitha and Dad Rish in Redbridge, East London, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia just four months ago and is being treated at the renowned Great Ormond Street Hospital.
But two intensive cycles of chemotherapy have been unsuccessful which means her only hope of survival is a bone marrow (stem cell) transplant, MyLondon reports.
A match is more likely from someone who is of the same ethnicity so Esha’s family are particularly appealing to those with South Asian heritage.
Without a match she could die in three weeks time.
Esha’s aunt, Meera Visakan, said: “This has been so heart-breaking for the family.
“It all just happened so quickly. Esha said she was tired, lost her appetite and developed bruising on her leg. But then a series of blood tests confirmed the devastating news.
“Your world is turned upside down, you can’t sleep, eat or breath really.
“I can’t emphasise enough our plea to the public to sign up to be a stem cell donor to save her life or even a child in a similar situation. If we don’t there are no other treatments available [for Esha].
“The process is easier than doing a Covid test.”
Stem cells can grow into any other cell in your body and this means they can be used to treat a wide range of blood cancers and disorders.
For some people, a stem cell transplant is the only hope of survival but 65 to 75% of those in need (around 400 UK patients) are unable to find a sibling match so rely on the generosity of strangers.
As Esha’s sister Ria, nine, and their parents are not a stem cell match this is the case.
Meera spoke about how heart-breaking it has been to see such Esha go through this.
She said: “Esha is funny, bubbly and cheeky. She loves Disney princess movies – especially Princess Jasmine at the moment.
“She even mustered up the energy to give a thank you message to everyone in the hospital.
“We just want to see that smile again.”
The family has been inundated with support so far.
“When it happens to you and your own family, you see the support of strangers and the kindness of people,” Meera said.
Esha’s story has been shared by comedian Romesh Ranganathan and the family say the team at Great Ormond Street Hospital have been hugely supportive – including painting Esha’ nails and dancing and singing at any opportunity.
Toregister as a donor, you must order a swab kit online, swabbing your cheeks and returning the kit.
You will then be added to the register and your sample analysed to determine your patch for a patient.
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