APPEALS: VITHIYA ALPHONS – A FEW WEEKS TO SAVE YOUNG STUDENT’S LIFE
In October 2015, 24 year-old student Vithiya was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML).
Vithiya was put onto oral chemotherapy the very same day and her parents and brother Clime, rushed to Cardiff to be by her side.
“From the first symptom to being diagnosed, it was only five days. I’d been absolutely fine before that. My whole life changed in under a week.”
When she was well enough to travel, she was transferred back to London for treatment at University College Hospital.
She has undergone four rounds of chemotherapy but has now been told she urgently needs a stem cell donation, within the next two months, to save her life.
A search for a matching donor within her family found that her brother was only a 50% match, so Vithiya is now reliant on finding a matching unrelated donor.
Vithiya’s Asian heritage makes it harder for her to find a matching donor, as tissue type is determined by ancestry. Her family are appealing for more people to register as potential blood stem cell donors, especially those with Asian heritage.
“I’m a big believer that everything happens for a reason. Maybe it will make sense one day. In the meantime I’m determined to raise awareness in my community. Even if it doesn’t help me, it could help someone else.”
*words and imagery courtesy of Anthony Nolan (https://www.anthonynolan.org/news/2016/02/25/race-against-time-find-donor-vithiya) and Delete Blood Cancer (http://www.deletebloodcancer.org.uk/en/vithiya-needs-match)