Last year, a healthy baby Kenza was born to her parents in Dallas, TX. After a series of concerning symptoms as an infant–a watering eye and swelling around her lymph nodes–her parents received the most devastating news they could have ever imagined.
After receiving inconsistent information from various doctors, a CT scan and blood work revealed that Kenza’s white blood cell count was extremely high, indicating leukemia.
At 10 months old, Kenza has undergone two rounds of chemotherapy and a bone marrow biopsy has revelead that she is in need of a bone marrow transplant.
With South Asians making up 3% of the registry worldwide for potential donors, it is imperative that those of us who are of South Asian descent consider this a call to action. Heritage is strongly correlated with finding a match.
According to research collected by Delete Blood Cancer, an organization that is also helping Kenza’s family organize drives across the country, two out of every three bone marrow registrants are white, demonstrating a significant gap and necessity for people of color to register.
Initially, the drives started as a grassroots effort by friends and family in Dallas. By mid-May, a few mosques in the Dallas-Fort Worth area hosted drives that had a tremendous response from volunteers and new registrants.
Find out more about this campaign to find a #CureforKenza and furthermore, raise awareness around the importance of South Asians and other communities of color become registrants for bone marrow transplants. There will be drives held from coast to coast, including the ICNA Conference in Baltimore which will be organized by Islamic Relief.
The largest mosque in Northern California will hold a drive on 6/3.
Visit facebook.com/curekenza to learn more.
Written by Noor Hasan