Flaminia’s family are calling on more people with a mixed background, especially those with European and East Asian heritage, to join the blood stem cell register.
Flaminia, two, has been diagnosed with acute megakalocyde leukaemia (AMKL) M7 also known as AML, a type of blood cancer. The doctors say that she will need a transplant before the end of 2022. Her parents are urgently asking for more donors to join the register.
“She didn’t have any evident symptoms”, her dad Thomas recalls, “but she became really lethargic and didn’t want to walk or play anymore, plus her belly started glowing strangely.”
The family went to many doctors but none could understand what the problem was. Eventually, after a blood test, Flaminia was diagnosed with AML.
She was diagnosed on 14 January 2022 and started chemotherapy immediately. Initially, Flaminia was supposed to have five rounds, but she’s sadly had two big infections that were so serious they’ve delayed her treatment. In the end, doctors decided to go directly for a blood stem cell transplant, as soon as her infections healed.
“We went to the University Hospital here in Okinawa, Japan, where they would perform the transplant and started looking for a match, but we couldn’t find one. They also tested my wife and me, for peripheral blood for haploidentical transplantation," Thomas explained.
This type of transplant is risky because there is a high chance of GvHD (Graft versus Host Disease).
In order to find the perfect match for Flaminia, the donor is likely to be half Caucasian and half Japanese, but in Japan, there aren’t any matching donors so far.
“Here in Okinawa they have never looked internationally for a bone marrow match, but we’re running out of time and need to expand our search. We decided to start this donor search campaign because within three months she will have to start the treatment process.”
If you’re aged 17-55 and in general good health, please consider joining the register by clicking the button below. You may be Flaminia’s perfect match.