17-Year-Old Taekwondo Blackbelt, Needs a Stem Cell Donor for a Fighting Chance at Beating Aplastic Anemia
Anika Mathur is 17 years old and lives in California. Anika, or Ani, is a dedicated student and an accomplished classical dancer who loves to cook.
Ani is also a fighter. She holds a blackbelt in Taekwondo, the Korean martial art that focuses on striking your opponent as a means of self-defense.
Tae Kwon Do translates to “the way of foot and fist”. It is often characterized by an inordinate amount of jumping and spinning…with repeated ‘kicks to the head’.
Given her training as a classical dancer, Anika took well to martial arts.
A Different Kind of Battle
Now, Anika is fighting a much different type of battle.
Last year she was diagnosed with Aplastic Anemia, a life-threatening condition where the body doesn’t produce enough new blood cells.
Aplastic Anemia leaves the patient feeling fatigued and with a higher risk of infection and the potential for uncontrolled bleeding.
Since her diagnosis, and given the repeated visits to the hospital, Anika has been homeschooling. Her parents hope that she can still graduate High School on time, while also maintaining a lower risk of infection.
Anika will need more than “foot and fist” to combat Aplastic Anemia. To survive, she needs a matching stem cell donor from a stranger.
Give Anika a Fighting Chance
There is no matching donor in her family. There is also no match on the national Be The Match marrow registry.
Because Anika is of Indian descent, the odds of a successful transplant are greater if we can find a donor with similar South Asian ancestry.
We need more South Asians to include themselves on the registry.
We have been recruiting within Indian communities across the country. If you are aware of opportunities where we can reach a larger audience, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and include “For Anika” in the subject line.
Help us find a matching stem cell donor for Anika to survive.
Include Yourself on the Registry
If you are between the ages of 18-44, you can easily add yourself to the registry. Ask your friends and family to join as well. Click the link below to set up an account and answer a few questions. A kit will be mailed out, asking you to swab the inside of your cheek for HLA typing.
Once you return the kit, your name will be included on the registry to see if you are a match for Anika…or any of the other 14,000 patients who do not yet have a matching cure.
Help us find a cure for Anika. Help us give her a fighting chance.
Written by Bret Itskowitch