Ayesha Siddiqui, 12, from Glasgow was diagnosed with leukaemia in April 2011 and her family were told that she needed a bone marrow transplant.
Her parents Nadeem and Noreen campaigned tirelessly to raise funds and awareness for the charity, and in particular aimed to recruit more people from black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds, who are underrepresented on the donor register.
The Siddiquis rallied their friends, family and community to raise an astonishing £200,000 for the charity. They worked with volunteers to arrange recruitment drives to sign up over 500 potential donors to the Anthony Nolan register at local mosques, universities and festivals.
Happily, Anthony Nolan found a match for Ayesha and she had her transplant in 2015.
Before the transplant, Noreen said, ‘So now that she’s had radiotherapy, chemotherapy (and various other medicines that a non-medic can’t hope to pronounce, never mind understand), attached to a drip, sometimes two… I feel unexpectedly grateful.
‘Grateful that more than four years after diagnosis, Ayesha is still growing, still cheeky and causing me great concern, just like any eleven-year-old girl.
‘Grateful that we’ve had the opportunity to raise awareness of Anthony Nolan and fundraise £200,000; grateful that we’re helping to bring the R&Be education programme for 16-18 year-olds into Scotland.
‘I’m so grateful that Anthony Nolan, a charity that helps to save the lives of people with blood cancers, provides the service of finding a match, recruits donors, and undertakes and supports research as well.
‘And finally, I feel very, very grateful that we are in the position to go ahead with a stem cell transplant, when so many people are waiting to hear the news of a match.’
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