Two-year-old leukaemia patient needs your help

Two-year-old Maddalena Chesworth. Picture: Supplied

Two-year-old Maddalena Chesworth. Picture: Supplied

Published Aug 29, 2023


The agonising pain of a mother watching her precious little girl battle a debilitating illness is a heart-wrenching experience that few can comprehend.

Little Maddalena Chesworth, a 2-year-old brave young soul, has been fighting for her life since November 2021, facing unimaginable challenges every single day.

According to Palesa Mokomele, head of community engagement and communications at DKMS Africa, acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) is the most common blood cancer among children aged 2 to 10.

It is caused by genetic mutations in bone marrow that cause uncontrolled growth of immature lymphocytes known as lymphoblasts.

These white blood cells lose maturity and function, resulting in a decrease in red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. This weakens the body’s infection defence despite potentially high white blood cell counts.

Little Maddalena has been diagnosed with ALL and is now in urgent need of a blood stem cell donor to help her beat the disease. Diagnosed at the tender age of three months old, this tiny warrior has been fighting for her life since her diagnosis.

Stem cell therapy, a groundbreaking medical technique with immense potential, stands as a beacon of hope for people fighting blood cancers.

It is now that Maddalena’s family reaches out to the wider community, earnestly seeking their help in finding a suitable stem cell donor for their precious little girl.

Alessandra and Norman Chesworth, loving parents to Maddalena, became alarmed when they observed an unusual hardening of their daughter’s abdomen.

Seeking immediate medical attention, they consulted a doctor, who referred them to the renowned Wits Donald Gordon Medical Centre for a series of comprehensive tests. The couple’s world shattered just two days later when they received the heart-wrenching diagnosis.

Initially, chemotherapy held promise as Maddalena beat cancer and was proclaimed cancer-free following her recovery from RSV, a respiratory virus that poses severe risks to infants, as well as the challenging battle against Covid-19. Tragically, in June 2023,

Maddalena experienced a relapse that left her unable to walk or speak. Consequently, she had to undergo another round of chemotherapy treatment.

“It breaks my heart when I see her reaction to being in a hospital because she knows what it means now. I’m asking people to please register so my baby can have a second chance at health and life,” pleaded Alessandra.

Finding a stem cell donor and receiving a transplant is Maddalena’s best chance of living out a full and happy life.

Readers are encouraged to help by registering to become a stem cell donor at