An eighteen year old Watford girl, who is an aspiring doctor has five weeks to find a bone marrow match to save her life. Sheena Shah, suffering from leukaemia, has had chemotherapy for just over a month and needs to fine a bone marrow match to continue her treatment. Local papers report that if Sheena does not find a match, her parents will try to donate their bone marrow, but the doctors have warned that this may not be successful, as they are not a match. But since Sheena is of Indian origin, it is difficult to get a match easily in the UK.
Sheena has been half way through her A-levels, when the leukamia relapsed. She had volunteered in a ward at the University College London Hospital before her diagnosis and has now been admitted to the same ward as a patient.
Sheena's family has since launched a global campaign for people to join the bone marrow register to find her a match. The campaign leaflet, urging everyone to help 'Save Sheena' from her parents said, “Our loving daughter, Sheena, was diagnosed with Leukemia at the age of 15. At the end of 2018, after two and a half grueling years of chemo treatment we thought she was in the clear and ready tocarry on life as a young adult. However, last month, we were told that the Leukemia has returned.
“Sheena urgently needs a bone marrow if she is to stand any chance of surviving. Unfortunately, we have no match yet and time is running out.
“We are making a plea for you to consider being tested to see if you might be the life saving match for our Sheena. All it takes is a quick and free cheek swab test.
“Sheena is currently undergoing chemo to reduce her leukemia, blood transfusions, high dose of steroids, lumbar punctures and other medications.
“Sheena is a strong, spirited and positive person full of energy needing your help to have a chance in life.”
To be a donor and check details of services that can help with the testing process, one can go to Anthony Nolan, NHS or DKMS.
Speaking to Asian Voice, Sheena's father Minesh Shah said, “We are urgently looking for donors. We have put words out in the community- among the Oshwals and other temples. Anthony Nolan and DKMS are helping us too. There is one person willing so far, but he has to go through may tests before we can confirm if he is a tissue match at all. It's a long way. We are urging the community to help us save our daughter.”
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Minesh Shah ([email protected]) or 07834092824.