Testing centres set up in race to find donor for girl, 4, with cancer

Esha, 4, requires a stem cell transplant to have a chance of survival

Esha, 4, requires a stem cell transplant to have a chance of survival - Credit: For Esha

A series of testing stations are being set up in temples across London and Surrey in a race against time to find a genetic match for a four-year-old Clayhall girl with cancer. 

Esha Nadeswaran was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia in May, but after 15 weeks at Great Ormond Street Hospital and two unsuccessful cycles of chemotherapy, a stem cell transplant is her last chance of survival. 

However, a shortage of south Asian people on the bone marrow register makes the likelihood of a genetic match substantially less likely for patients like Esha, who is from a Sri Lankan background. 

In an attempt to address this, three Hindu temples are running drop-in testing centres where people can administer a two-minute swab test and be put on the bone marrow register. 

The procedure is safe and non-invasive. 

Shree Ghanapathy Temple in Wimbledon will be running its drop-in centres from 9am this Friday, September 10.  

Shri Thurkkai Amman Temple in Ealing will be administering tests from 7pm on Friday and from 5.30pm on Tuesday, September 14. 

Most Read

Sri Raja Rajeswary Amman Temple in Epsom will also be running an event this Friday, beginning at 5.30pm.   

In addition to the three temples, Esha's school - Parkhill Infants' School - will be running testing centres on two days. 

The school in Clayhall will be testing parents, carers and members of the broader school community between 3.30pm and 9pm on Thursday, September 9, as well as the following Thursday, September 16. 

For those unable to attend a drop-in, people can also sign up to be sent a home testing kit by Anthony Nolan or DKMS. 

To have a chance of survival, Esha needs to find a match in the next few weeks. 

Speaking to the Recorder on Friday, Esha’s father Rish said signing up to the register was not only important to help his daughter. 

“It’s not just about Esha, there are hundreds of people looking for bone marrow,” he said.