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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 info@icla.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.

JOIN FOR ANIKA

Written by Bret Itskowitch

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Local Teen Hoping to Find Stem Cell Transplant Match Through Be the Match bone marrow registry – WPVI TV Philadelphia

ABINGTON, Pennsylvania (WPVI) — A local teenager in need of a life-saving stem cell transplant is encouraging more people, especially minorities, to join the bone marrow registry.

Juwan Adams, 17, proudly plays the snare drum for the marching band at Abington Senior High school. He’s also on the national honor roll and a math tutor.

Unfortunately, he’s doing all this while also battling cancer. “It’s a little rough some times. There are some days you just want to be normal but other days realize you just have to keep fighting,” he said.

Join the registry for Juwan

save juwan

Read more…

 

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Teen Battling Leukemia Asks for Hispanic Community to Donate Bone Marrow – NBC DFW

Since April, 18-year-old Javier Guereca’s been dreaming of the day he’ll be told he’s matched with a bone marrow donor that can finally put an end to the leukemia he’s battled for a third of his life.

Guereca was first diagnosed at age 11. He’s spent more days in and out of the hospital than he can count, sometimes spending as long as two to three months there at a time.

Read more…

join the registry for javier

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A Soldier Receives a Spider Bite in Afghanistan and they Find Leukemia

Miguel Leyva Campos grew up with his family on Catalina Island, just a one-hour ferry ride from Long Beach, CA.

He enlisted in the Army after High School and was eventually deployed to Afghanistan.  After a year in Afghanistan, and only one week before returning home, Miguel was bitten by a spider. 

Miguel told us that after the bite, he was noticeable tired and nauseous. He had unexplained body pain and he often felt faint. Was this from an Afghan spider bite?

Upon returning to the U.S., he mentioned his symptoms to the doctors during his post-deployment medical check. In 2013, after testing, Miguel was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). It had nothing to do with the spider.

He went through chemo while attending Long Beach City College. Over time, his body went into remission and he began to feel strong again. Tests showed no evidence of disease.  He eventually became employed by harbor patrol and his life progressed.

In April of 2019, memories of that spider bite came back to him. Miguel became nauseous and tired again. Blood tests revealed that his cancer had returned.

He is now back on chemo treatments and doctors have recommended a stem cell transplant.

Miguel’s Next Battle

His next battle is not on the fields of some far off land.  Miguel is fighting to find a cure, right here on U.S. soil. He is searching for a matching blood stem cell donor.

Despite everyone being tested, there is no match in his family. Of all the cancer patients in need of a stem cell transplant, 70% turn to Be The Match and the National Bone Marrow Registry. They need to find an unrelated donor. 

Miguel’s doctors have been checking the Bone Marrow Registry and there is no matching donor for him.

Not yet.

His battle with leukemia will be difficult enough. But because he is Hispanic, this veteran has a lower chance of finding a matching donor. There simply aren’t enough Hispanics and Latinos on the Registry.

Hispanic cancer patients only have a 46% chance of finding a matching donor. White patients have a 77% chance of finding their donor.

We Are Here to Help

The Icla da Silva Foundation is joining Miguel in his battle with Leukemia.  We are the largest recruitment center for Be The Match and we focus on adding more diversity to the registry. Our mission is to ensure that all patients have a greater chance of finding their matching donor.

You can help us in this fight.  Include yourself on the Registry by clicking the link below. You will set up an account, answer some basic questions and then you will receive a swab kit in the mail.

After returning the kit, you will be included in the Registry.  Only 1 out of every 430 people who register, end up matching a patient in need…so we must add as many potential life-savers as we can.

Join us in this latest battle. We need to find a match for Miguel.

join the registry – help miguel

Written by Bret Itskowitch

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Humbolt Park Boy With Rare Blood Disorder Needs You to ‘Be The Match’ / ABC7Chicago

CHICAGO (WLS) — Alfredo Diaz, a 6-year-old boy from Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood, needs a blood stem cell donor to help cure him from a life-threatening blood disorder.

Read the story here

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