Potters Bar residents urged to help save five-year-old's life

PUBLISHED: 14:46 11 June 2018 | UPDATED: 14:46 11 June 2018

Kaiya Patel. Picture: Supplied.

Kaiya Patel. Picture: Supplied.

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A Potters Bar group is urging people to come forward today to help save a five-year-old who has only weeks left to live if a suitable stem cell donor is not found.

Kaiya Patel's bruising which led to her being diagnosed. Picture: Supplied.Kaiya Patel's bruising which led to her being diagnosed. Picture: Supplied.

The Potters Bar Indians group is holding a Swab Testing drop-in session at Furzefield Leisure Centre this evening from 8pm until 10pm in a bid to see if the person who can save Kaiya Patel’s life is in the town.

Kaiya was diagnosed earlier this year with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), a rare and aggressive type of blood cancer, after bruising appeared on her legs.

To survive, the youngster urgently needs a stem cell transplant from outside her family.

Family friend Jilna Shah got in touch with Bunty Shah, who founded Potters Bar Indians, on Friday, June 8, and within a few hours the swab testing session was set up.

Kaiya Patel and her family. Picture: Supplied.Kaiya Patel and her family. Picture: Supplied.

Bunty expressed how “fantastic” the Furzefield Leisure Centre was and how staff member Sarah Marsh organised the event within half an hour.

The father of a six-year-old and 13-year-old said: “We need more people like Sarah and we’re so thankful to the centre for letting us hold the testing there.

“Being a parent myself, Kaiya’s story hit very close to home and we really feel for her parents.”

He added: “Potters Bar is such a loving and generous community.

Kaiya Patel and her family. Picture: Supplied.Kaiya Patel and her family. Picture: Supplied.

“I’m overwhelmed at how many people have given this so much support from our town.

“They don’t know this little girl but they are taking time out of their busy lives to come down and possibly save her life.

“You never know, it could be you that saves her.”

Jilna told the Welwyn Hatfield Times that the family are “staying strong” and putting on a brave face for Kaiya who doesn’t know the extent of how ill she is.

Jilna said: “Please come forward as it is critical that we find a donor now as doctors said Kaiya could have 12 weeks left and we are coming to the end of that now.”

•If you were unable to make the event but are interested to see if you could help visit https://www.dkms.org.uk/en/register-now

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