You Could Help Save Zahara's Life

Zahara's Story

Zahara is a lively five year-old who loves singing, dancing, playing mini-golf with Mom and Dad and—believe it or not—going to the dentist. She is also one of the 1 in 500 African Americans who are born with sickle cell disease each year.

Zahara was diagnosed at birth. On good days, Zahara gets to live life like a regular kid. On bad days, she’s confined to a hospital bed, constantly being monitored to ease her symptoms and stay one step ahead of her sickle cell anemia. Her Mom and Dad have been very honest with her about the disease and her need for a bone marrow transplant. She knows she needs to find a donor and does her part to raise awareness by educating her kindergarten classmates and wearing a Delete Blood Cancer sticker everywhere she goes. She wants to be a doctor someday so that she can help other patients like her.

Unfortunately, she won’t achieve her dreams if she can’t find a compatible donor soon. Most patients need donors who share their ancestry. For Zahara, this is a steep challenge because only 7% of registered donors are African American. July is African American Bone Marrow Awareness Month. Celebrate it by registering as a potential donor to help patients like Zahara have a fighting chance at beating their disease.

"Mommy, am I gonna die from sickle cell if I don't get my bone marrow transplant?"

"No, honey, you will NOT die from sickle cell and we WILL get your match." -Zahara asks her mom, Kesha, about finding a match.

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Blood Cancer Facts

• Marrow transplants can be life-saving treatments for blood cancers like leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma, and blood disorders like sickle cell disease or aplastic anemia.

• Heritage matters: Most patients in need of marrow transplants find their best donor match in someone who shares their ancestry.

• Just 7% of registered bone marrow donors in the U.S. are African American.

• More than 1 in 3 African American patients can’t find a life-saving match.

• Approximately 1 in 500 African Americans are born with sickle cell disease.