Desperate family have just three weeks to find stem cell donor for their girl

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Esha Nadeswaran has acute myeloid leukaemia and her loved ones are appealing for help from the South Asian community.

The four-year-old was diagnosed with the life-threatening disease in May and has spent 15 weeks at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Esha, from east London, has had two cycles of chemotherapy which have proved to be ineffective. The family are appealing to find a stem cell donor quickly – but donors of her ethnicity are rare.

Esha’s dad Rishya Nadeswaran, 44, said: “We only found out last week that we need to find a donor before the end of September because her first two cycles of chemotherapy had not worked.

‘She is intelligent caring deserves and healthy “Generally, ethnic minorities are underrepresented in the bone marrow registry. Our aim is to try and get as many people as possible signed up.

“If we do get a good turnout, a match might be found.”

Members of the family are hosting sign-up events throughout London and have set up a web page for other potential donors across the world.

Rishya said: “I want to stress the urgency of trying to find a donor. The process itself takes a few weeks and even if you are able to register on the bone marrow registry, you have to be sent a swab kit and send it back. Once the hospital can confirm that there is a match, there are subsequent checks that have to be carried out.

“They have to check that the potential donor does not have any underlying medical diseases. Time is of the essence. This is Esha’s last chance. It’s a harsh reality.”

The web page says “the procedure to donate stem cells is non-invasive and takes less than two minutes to sign up for.” It describes Esha as a “sassy, intelligent, funny and caring girl who puts a smile on those around her”. It adds: “Esha deserves a long and healthy life and a stem cell match would change her life.

“There is someone out there who might be the match that we are praying for.”

Acute myeloid leukaemia is a cancer of the blood that starts in the bone marrow and spreads into the blood stream. It is extremely rare in children of Esha’s age. Rishya has praised her for being brave throughout her diagnosis and treatment.

He added: “She always brings a smile to people’s faces, she’s very bubbly and cheerful.

“She has had to deal with a lot of unpleasant medical procedures which have been very hard on her physically and emotionally. Throughout it all she has managed to keep her smile on her face. She is inspiring to us for what she has gone through.”

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