HOUSTON – A Houston mother is begging for help, trying to find a stem cell match for her 6-month-old son, who was diagnosed with leukemia three months ago.
She knows a match is out there, but needing a donor of South Asian descent is making them hard to find.
All it takes is a series of swabs, a quick swipe inside your cheek. Just three minutes of your time can give an entire life back to this little baby.
“He will get to live. He needs to live. He’s my only child. I’m not going to have any more kids, and he’s my only, only child,” Asma Abbasi said of her son, Arham.
Arham was born happy and healthy, but when he was 3 months old, his mother noticed something wrong.
“We were hoping it was a virus, not cancer. And we came here and it happened to be leukemia,” Abbasi said.
Over a million cancer cells were found in this baby’s tiny body. His doctors hadn’t even seen that many in adults.
Arham has already had two rounds of chemo and more to go. But he needs new bone marrow, and that’s where the stem cells come in.
There’s just one problem.
“In the South Asian community, as well in other communities of color, the chances of passing away unfortunately is very, very high, just because we don’t have enough folks in the registry,” Volunteer Naureen Ali said.
Saturday was the first time Arham’s mother left the hospital since he was diagnosed in January.
Complications during his birth forced her to have a hysterectomy. So she’s here, begging you to help save her son, the only child she will ever have.
“My son needs to live. He’s only six months old,” she said. “He needs to live. He’s only lived three months outside of the hospital, and he’s only six months old. He’s supposed to be crawling, and he’s just stuck on a bed.”
If you would like to be tested, volunteers will be out Sunday, at these two locations:
Basant Mela Houston Brazos River Park
11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
MIST Houston UC North – 4465 University Drive
2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
You can follow Arham’s journey here.
For more information on where to get tested, click here.
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