'She has a chance to fight it': Donor match for leukaemia patient Esha

Esha Nadeswaran, who has been suffering from acute myeloid leukaemia since May

Esha Nadeswaran, who has been suffering from acute myeloid leukaemia since May - Credit: For Esha

A matching donor has been found for a four-year-old Clayhall girl with leukaemia that could save her life. 

Esha Nadeswaran's battle with acute myeloid leukaemia has caught the public’s attention in recent weeks, with testing centres set up across the country in a race against time to find a donor for a stem cell transplant. 

After two unsuccessful cycles of chemotherapy at Great Ormond Street Hospital, a transplant is her last chance. 

The NHS said a genetic match for people from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds, is found in as low as 20pc of cases.

However, Esha’s family have now announced that a matching donor has been found. 

Esha’s father Rish said: “[We are] obviously really delighted because the odds are slim, so the fact we have found someone means she has a chance to fight it.” 

Once Esha recovers from the current round of chemotherapy, doctors will go forward with the transplant process. 

That requires Esha, from a Sri Lankan background, to undergo several high-risk procedures with no guaranteed successful outcome. 

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What’s more, the donor – about whom the family know nothing – could yet drop out. 

Rish said that his family were “forever indebted to the people that have taken time out of their jobs and their personal commitment” to get tested at the many drop-in centres set up in recent weeks. 

Despite finding a match for Esha, the family will continue their campaign to expand the bone marrow register, with more events to be added to the current roster. 

A closer match for Esha could still be found and Rish said that the fact that just one potential donor had been identified for her “highlights that there are not enough people registered.” 

Temples, gurdwaras, mosques and other community centres across the country have set up drop-in test centres to support the campaign, with a number of events planned in the coming days.