Family’s plea for Asian bone marrow donors to save son’s life with Ilford drive

Rayaan since he's become ill

Rayaan since he's become ill - Credit: Archant

A family is urging Redbridge residents to join a blood marrow drive in Ilford on Saturday to save a six-year-old boy’s life.

Asian stem cell donors are desperately needed so a match can be found for little Rayaan Siddiqui, who has a rare blood cancer called hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH).

The condition can lead to multiple organ failures and has an 100 per cent fatality rate if not sucessfuly treated.

Rayaan’s aunt, Sarah Mirza, hopes that a donor who can save his life will be found in Ilford.

She said: “We really need lots of Asian stem cell donors as our nephew will die without the match of bone marrow. We are desperate to raise awareness at the event and after.”

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Charity Delete Blood Cancer UK will be running the drive in High Road opposite Waterstones from 10am to 5pm.

Potential donors only need to have a quick swab test taken from their mouth with a cotton bud and complete forms.

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Charity volunteers will be there to help and explain what happens if anyone is a match.

Rayaan’s dad Ghazali Siddiqui said the medication and chemotherapy treatment his son is undergoing is “nothing more than a stop gap”.

He added: “In the long run, this appeal will benefit the Asian community if people realise how important it is to get tested for things like this.

“Culturally Asians are unaware and scared of what the donation process involves.

“I get the feeling people are scared by the prospect of hospitalisation when really it’s a simple procedure. We need people to come forward now.”

If you cannot attend the town centre event but think you could be a match for Rayaan, email

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