Bradford family in donor plea face anxious wait as 35 sign up for bone marrow register (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Bradford family in donor plea face anxious wait as 35 sign up for bone marrow register
9:00am Wednesday 13th February 2013 in News
A Bradford family face an anxious wait to see if their latest attempt to find a bone marrow match for their desperately-ill child has been a success.
The Anthony Nolan charity, along with the family, held a registration event yesterday calling for potential donors from the Pakistani community to sign up to help six-year-old Uzair Akhtar, who needs a transplant to survive.
Uzair has a rare genetic disorder, with only 50 cases known worldwide, and needs a life-saving bone marrow transplant. But so far, the Anthony Nolan charity, which runs the UK’s largest bone marrow register, cannot find him a matching donor.
About 35 people signed up to the register at the event, which was held at the Jamiyat Tabligh ul Islam Mosque, in Lidget Green. They gave a sample of their saliva which will be tested to see if they are compatible with Uzair.
Uzair’s mum Sufia Rashid said: “When we heard a bone marrow transplant could cure Uzair we were over the moon. But this quickly turned to fear as our family was tested and no one was a match for him. Fingers crossed that we get a match from this batch of potential donors. Uzair takes it all in his stride. He says he feels poorly, but it doesn’t bother him.”
It is only recently that Uzair received a diagnosis of the rare Hyperimmunoglobulin E Syndrome (HIES). The condition means his immune system can’t fight the simplest of infections. Even a common cough or cold could put his life at risk.
To remain in a stable condition, Uzair has to take a daily cocktail of viral antibiotics.
Mrs Rashid said: “We knew something wasn’t right with Uzair pretty early on. Despite being bright and bubbly, he was a very poorly baby and caught every bug he came into contact with.
“It was incredibly scary as although doctors knew there was a problem, they couldn’t work out why he kept getting so sick. After a nasty bout of salmonella at age four, the hospital started running more serious tests. They thought he might have leukaemia and we had an agonising wait for the results to see if his bone marrow was working. When these came back clear they were at a loss.”
Rebecca Sedgwick, national recruitment manager for Anthony Nolan, said, “We were absolutely delighted with how many people came forward to join the bone marrow register at the event. Any one of them could come up as a match and help cure someone with blood cancer. If you weren’t able to make the event, you can sign up online at anthonynolan.org.”