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A little girl is battling to save her life after bruises on her legs turned out to be a rare form of cancer.
Kaiya’s dad, Ruchit, revealed that her cancer first appeared as bruises on her legs, and when doctors diagnosed her with the rare form of leukaemia in March, it was ‘like a punch in the stomach’.
‘Family life was bliss. We’re a really loving family with two girls who adore each other,’ dad Ruchit, from London, explained to The Sun.
’The girls were looking forward to one day being at school together and we were getting ready for our holiday.
‘Kaiya had some bruising which we wanted to get checked out before flying. We honestly thought it was nothing serious and took Kaiya to hospital so we could fly without worry.
‘To be told that Kaiya had leukaemia was like a punch in the stomach.’
Kaiya was taken from Watford General to Great Ormond Street Hospital, where she spent four weeks receiving treatment, including chemotherapy. She is now back at home with her family who are anxiously waiting to find a suitable donor for Kaiya.
Now Kaiya has just two months to find a suitable stem cell donor – unfortunately none of her family members are a match – after being diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, a rare type of blood cancer that starts in the white blood cells.
However, her parents fear that they will be unable to find a donor due to Kaiya’s Asian ethnicity, which means she has just 20.5 per cent chance of being paired with a suitable donor compared to 69 per cent for people with white or European heritage, according to charity Anthony Nolan.
Rebecca Pritchard, head of register development at Anthony Nolan said: ‘Kaiya is an inspirational little girl who, despite everything she is going through is still there being a great big sister to Annika.
‘Somewhere out there, there is a potential lifesaver who could help give her a second chance of life. A second chance to be at the same school as her little sister.
‘If you’re aged 16-30 you can join the register online and we’ll send you a cheek swab in the post.
‘If you’re found to be a match for a patient you could donate your stem cells and give hope to families like Kaiya’s.’