Arya, 11, from Cambridge was diagnosed with Aplastic Anaemia in July 2020. Aplastic Anaemia is a life threatening condition in which the body stops producing new blood cells that are needed to carry oxygen, prevent infection and to stop bleeding.

Arya is receiving treatment at St Mary’s Hospital, London. She says: ‘When I first became unwell, I remember getting a stomach ache. At first it felt like a stitch but the pain didn’t go away so I had more tests.’
These tests revealed something more serious.

Arya is in desperate need of a blood stem cell transplant in order to give her a second chance of life. Unfortunately no-one in Arya’s family is a match so the family are relying on a complete stranger to help save Arya’s life.

The search to find this stranger is made even more challenging as Arya is of mixed heritage being half Indian and half Caucasian. Arya’s best chance of a match is from someone of Indian or mixed Indian/Caucasian origin.

Her Mum, Brundha and Dad, Geraint are appealing for more people to take the first step and register as potential blood stem cell donors, particularly people of Asian and Mixed Asian and white Northern European backgrounds. By requesting a home swab kit from DKMS, they may hold the correct HLA –typing to allow Arya to have the lifesaving stem cell transplant.

People from Asian backgrounds have just a 20% chance of finding the best possible stem cell donor match, compared to 69% for northern European backgrounds – so it is essential for more people from Asian backgrounds to register as potential stem cell donors.

Brundha said: “Prior to her diagnosis Arya was fit and healthy. She loved to play sport and is very athletic, she swam, ran (100m sprints), played netball, hockey and was always on the trampoline and her zest for life was infectious.”

Despite Arya’s life changing diagnosis and the constant stays in hospital, whilst having immunosuppressive treatment, she remains positive and is hopeful of a matching donor being found.

To find out more about how you could become a lifesaving stem cell donor for Arya or someone like her, please click here

Words from Anthony Nolan and DKMS