11-year-old urgently needs a bone marrow transplant after being diagnosed with life-threatening condition – Leicestershire Live

By daniellenierenberg

An 11-year-old girl is in urgent need of a bone marrow transplant after being diagnosed with a rare, life-threatening condition.

Arya Lloyd, who was born in the Leicester Royal Infirmary, started to complain of abdominal pain and aches in her back and ribs during the summer.

Her father, Geraint said "she had always been fit and healthy" and did well in sports. So it was a shock to him and his wife, Arya's mother Brundha, when she was diagnosed with aplastic anaemia in late July this year.

Aplastic anaemia, also known as bone marrow failure, is a rare disease affecting the blood whereby the bone marrow and stem cells do not produce enough blood cells.

Arya then went on to have two bone marrow biopsies after her diagnosis.

"Her blood count continued to drop and that's why it is so important to get a donor match," Geraint said.

But finding a match will be a challenge. Arya, whose mother is of Indian heritage and father is Caucasian, will wait longer to find a suitable match due to her dual heritage.

Currently, those of Asian, Black or mixed ethnic background have a 20 per cent chance of finding the best possible match from an unrelated donor, compared with the 70 per cent chance of finding a match for Caucasian patients.

Arya and her parents, who a currently live in Cambridge are "staying positive" while Arya undergoes immunosuppressive treatment at St Mary's Hospital in Paddington.

Geraint told LeicestershireLive: She has been really brave and she just gets on with it. I wish it was me rather than her going through all this but she's optimistic."

The 11-year-old schoolgirl is expected to be discharged from the hospital this week and has spent her time keeping in touch with friends and catching up with homework when she can.

It has now been 22 days since she was admitted to hospital where she has been able to stay with her mother. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the pair have had to stay in an isolated room and unable to see Geraint who has kept in touch through video calls.

"It's been really difficult, our whole world has been turned upside-down but we need to be optimistic and find a match," Geraint said.

The family is now urging people to come forward and join the bone marrow donor register.

"It's very urgent and so important that particularly people of Indian and mixed heritage join the register as they are hugely underrepresented," Geraint said.

So far, no suitable match has been found for Arya and it will take several months to determine the effects of the treatment she is currently having.

Following the immunosuppressive treatment, Arya will be infection-prone and have to be careful to avoid any trauma or injury due to her low blood count. This also leaves her in the category of people who are at higher risk from Covid-19.

While Arya and her family continue to adjust and stay positive, they need your help.

Joining the bone marrow donor register is simple and can be done from home by ordering a swab kit that is then sent back and analysed.

You can find out more about Arya's story and how to join the register at http://www.dkms.org.uk/en/arya.

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11-year-old urgently needs a bone marrow transplant after being diagnosed with life-threatening condition - Leicestershire Live

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categoriaBone Marrow Stem Cells commentoComments Off on 11-year-old urgently needs a bone marrow transplant after being diagnosed with life-threatening condition – Leicestershire Live | dataOctober 29th, 2020

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