Mahi was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia, a very rare form of cancer. Her family is appealing for bone marrow donors to come forward and sign up on the SABMR
Mahi was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia, a very rare form of cancer. Her family is appealing for bone marrow donors to come forward and sign up on the SABMR

Durban family appeals for bone marrow donors in bid to save baby Mahi’s life

By Se-Anne Rall Time of article published Oct 13, 2021

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Durban - A KwaZulu-Natal family is appealing for residents to sign up and become bone marrow donors in the hopes of saving their little girl's life.

Four months ago, baby Mahi Jithoo was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia – a very rare form of cancer. She is just eight-months-old.

Her family said she spent most of her life in hospital, where she has been receiving several rounds of chemotherapy to prepare her for a bone marrow stem cell transplant, which she desperately needs to save her life.

However, sadly, a donor match is yet to be found.

For Mahi and many children like her, they have to rely on the selflessness of a stranger to donate stem cells, as only 30% of patients are lucky enough to find a match within their immediate family.

The remaining 70% often have to look internationally if a local donor is not found. The odds of finding a donor match is 1 in 100 000 but is drastically reduced to 1 in 400 000 for patients of colour. Sadly, this is a problem that registries face globally.

Mahi, was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia, a very rare form of cancer Picture: SUPPLIED

It is for this reason the Jithoo family has decided to join hands with the South African Bone Marrow Registry (SABMR) in an effort to help recruit more donors, particularly donors of colour, raise much-needed funds to procure additional buccal swab kits (testing kits), and cover the costs of donors’ medical tests in the hopes of giving Mahi, a second chance at life.

According to the SABMR, the cost of a bone marrow stem cell transplant from an international donor is more than double the cost of a local donor.

Since the launch of the campaign, over R16 000 has been raised towards the fundraising target of R1 000 000, with kind contributions from donors both locally and internationally.

As these costs are covered by SABMR, the non-profit organisation has launched a crowdfunding campaign on BackaBuddy, in hopes to save baby Mahi’s life.

Support Baby Mahi by making a donation on BackaBuddy:

https://www.backabuddy.co.za/baby-mahi

Alternatively, make a donation via Snapscan:

https://pos.snapscan.io/qr/baby-mahi

Register to become a bone marrow donor:

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