Blood drive to help two youths

DKMS Africa (formerly The Sunflower Fund) will be hosting two blood stem cell donation drives in Qonce and East London this weekend, its first in-person drives in the Eastern Cape.

BRAVE TEENAGER: Axola May, 16, has severe aplastic aneamia, which causes his bone marrow to produce insufficient blood cells
Pictures: SUPPLIED

The drives are being held to assist three-year-old Zion Roman, and 16-year-old Axola May, who both suffer from blood disorders.

Zion has suffered from Hyper-IgM syndrome since the age of three, which is an immunoglobulin (IG) deficiency that makes him especially susceptible to bacterial infections.

Axola has severe aplastic anemia, which causes his bone marrow to produce insufficient blood cells.

Both Zion and Axola have been unable to find a matching donor within their family groups and now have to rely on finding an unrelated donor.

According to DKMS Africa, someone in SA is diagnosed with a blood disorder every five minutes and the chances of a patient finding a donor match within their ethnic group is one in 100,000.

It is for this reason that they are urging anyone who is eligible to register as a donor and participate in the drives.

FIGHTER: Zion Roman, three, suffers from immunoglobulin (IG) deficiency, which puts him at risk of bacterial infections

To qualify, you must be between the ages of 18 and 55 and be in generally good health.

The donation process itself is as simple as donating blood or platelets.

The DKMS Africa Axola May Blood Stem Cell Donor Drive will take place at the Steve Biko Centre in Qonce from 9am to 2pm on Saturday November 27, while the Zion Roman Blood Stem Cell Donor Drive will be held at the Fantasy Outdoor League, Hemingways Casino, in East London, from 12 midday to 5pm on Sunday November 28.

For details, see www.dkms-africa.org or call 080-012-1082.

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