Thirteen year old Taahirah Msomi loves what most girls her age enjoy doing – listening to music, dancing, shopping, swimming and hanging out with friends and family. She is currently in Grade 9 at Newlands East Secondary School where she previously sat on the school governing body and was the Representative Class Learner.
At the end of October 2013 Taahirah started complaining of terrible body pain, especially in her joints. She was also experiencing a high fever and vomiting and was later diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia. After four rounds of Chemotherapy it has been confirmed that she will need to undergo a bone marrow stem cell transplant in order to survive. Her diagnosis has left her family heart-broken and in shock.
Taahirah has a sister, Nazeerah aged nine and a brother, Aadil aged two. Both her siblings have been tested and neither of them are a match for her.
The South African Bone Marrow Registry (SABMR) is currently being searched for a possible donor match. “Ethnicity plays a significant role and we would like to encourage the Coloured community to come forward to become donors as you could be Taahirah’s or another patients only chance of survival”, urge her parents Patson and Renelle. “A donor match can only be found within your own ethnic group and it is like looking for your twin, continues Patson and Renelle. Taahirah has a very positive attitude towards her illness and she knows that she will find her donor match, have a bone marrow stem cell transplant and her life will go back to normal.
The family urges everyone who meets the donor criteria to come forward and sign up as donors.