Muhammad Needs a Match Miracle #M4M
The handsome young lad in this photo is Muhammad Hussain, a gentle 6-year-old with a love for KFC Pops, Spiderman and extremely loud music ~ his pride and joy is his HotWheels collection.
While Muhammad may look like any other six-year old at first glance, albeit one with a really short haircut, nothing could be further from the truth! Muhammad is a Little Fighter who has been battling for his life since the tender age of 6 months, and who knows more about Lumbar Punctures, Blood Counts, Biopsies, Chemotherapy Treatments and Hospital Wards than schoolwork.
Muhammad Ebrahim Hussein was born on 15/09/09. From the age of 6 months his parents began noticing that he was not always that well, and after numerous visits to the paediatrician he was diagnosed with Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) in August 2010, and spent his first birthday in hospital. HLH is a very rare life-threatening blood disease and immune system disorder.
Treatment is very important for patients with HLH, as the condition is life-threatening. The treatments that doctors use suppress the immune system. Patients are usually treated with steroids plus chemotherapy (etoposide / VP-16) and/or an antibody therapy that destroys the T cells (called anti-thymocyte globulin or ATG). Patients may receive other medications that suppress the immune system. Additionally, your doctor may give medications that help treat any infections that are present, or that prevent new infections from occurring.
Many patients must also have their immune systems replaced by means of a bone marrow transplant in order to be cured of HLH.
Meet Max, and learn about the rare immune disorder called hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, better known as HLH. In patients with HLH, the immune system does not work as it should, and often requires a bone marrow transplant.
Muhammad was placed on the Bone Marrow Registry in the search for a stem cell donor match, and admitted to hospital for 4 months; it went well for the next 18 months but unfortunately Muhammad was then diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia in March 2012.
Muhammad then underwent 3½ months of grueling, aggressive chemotherapy at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, after which he was allowed to return home to Port Elizabeth, where he received ongoing chemotherapy for 3½ years, until the middle of 2015.
In August 2015, his parents, Fahrad and Kameelah Hussain, were ecstatic when Muhammad was declared cancer-free. Unfortunately a mere few weeks later, on 12 September 2015, a mere three days before his 6th birthday, Muhammad relapsed.
So, it was once again back to Cape Town and the Red Cross for more aggressive chemotherapy treatment and the news that Muhammad needs a bone marrow transplant.
Muhammad will continue to undergo treatment – 8 chemotherapy treatments followed by Interim Treatment, which will also include radiotherapy. The Interim Treatment should be finished around the end of April 2016, after which Muhammad will go back on Maintenance Treatment, which means he will continue receiving aggressive chemotherapy in PE for between 12 and 18 months. This means receiving chemotherapy for five days of every week, for up to 1½ years, which is no fun for anyone, let alone a young lad like this.
Uploaded on Nov 13, 2007
Lil Bishop Anthony’s Oncology Clinic visit for Chemotherapy. Treating Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) Childhood Cancer Please note, this video may upset sensitive viewers
Muhammad Needs a Bone Marrow Donor Match
Once the above treatment is completed, Muhammad’s medical needs will be re-assessed by his treating oncologist. Right now, however, the main concern is to find a stem cell match for Muhammad in South Africa.
Finding a stem cell match for a patient like Muhammad in South Africa is no easy feat. The latest available statistics from the South African Bone Marrow Registry lists less than 72 000 registered stem cell donors in total.
Added to the above-mentioned challenges to the search for a bone marrow match for Muhammad, is the fact that he is part-Indian, part-Coloured. Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Matches are 100% dependant on ethnic makeup. This has caused great concern to Muhammad’s parents, as a mere 6.5% of registered bone marrow donors are Coloured, and Indian/Asian donors make up only 9.4% of the total donors.
With a 1/100 000 chance of finding a stem cell donor match, these percentages need to change urgently, and more individuals need to register as stem cell donors, not only to give Muhammad a fighting chance, but so that the lives of many more patients waiting for a miracle can also be saved.
Two possible matches were found for Muhammad, but unfortunately both were dismissed as one donor could not be traced, and the other turned out not to be a viable match.
As the entire South African Bone Marrow Registry was searched in vain for a stem cell donor match for Muhammad, the only hope of finding a match for him now is if large numbers of new potential donors register with the SABMR soon.
Anyone willing to commit as a stem cell donor, can register FOR FREE on the Registry on 25th February by coming to the Athlone Community Centre during a Western Cape Blood Services blood donation clinic, between 16:00 and 19:00. The normal cost to register is R2 000.00 per person, so we trust that in the absence of any cost, the Cape Town community will turn up in droves.
The procedure is quick and simple; one teaspoon of blood will be taken from your arm, and a form will be filled in. After this, you will be registered with the SANBMR, and, if you are found to be a match for Muhammad or any other patient waiting for their miracle at any stage, you will be contacted directly.
Register as a Stem Cell Donor for FREE
to Help Muhammad and many more Little Fighters waiting for their Miracle!
Where: Athlone Community Centre, Western Cape Blood Services blood donations venue
When: Thursday, February 25th
Time: 16:00 – 19:00
Procedure: Fill out a form and have one teaspoon of blood taken from your arm
Who Can Register?
Anyone between 18 and 45 years of age with a BMI of under 40, of good health, weighing over 50kg’s and willing to commit to stay on the SANBR until the age of 60.
The usual cost per person to register as stem cell donor, is R2000.00. This is your chance to register, with NO PERSONAL COSTS!
If there are any companies in Cape Town that would like offer your staff the opportunity to join the #m4m drive and register FOR FREE (usual cost is R2 000 per person) as stem cell donors on the South African Bone Marrow Registry, please let us know.
If more than 10 people in your company commit to registering and getting tested as a possible bone marrow donor, we can arrange for the tests to be done at your offices!
This would be their best spent lunch hour in ages, and NOTHING can ever beat saving someone’s life, especially a child 😀
For more information on how to register, or on more free registration opportunities, call the Sunflower Fund’s toll-free number
0800 12 10 82.
Find out more about how to become a donor on the Sunflower Fund Website and how much of a difference YOU could make by becoming bone-marrow donor.
Please contact Mandie Erasmus at the Little Fighters Cancer Trust for further information regarding how else you can help us to help Muhammad and his Family
073 729 6155
Account Holder: Little Fighters Cancer Organization
Bank: FNB Paarl Mall
Account No: 62277783249
Branch code: 250057
Swift code for international donations: FIRNZAJJ
Trust Reg No: IT2817/2010
PayPal – Donations
Please continue to keep Muhammad and his Family in your hearts and prayers.
All of us here at the Little Fighters Cancer Trust send tons of love and best wishes to Muhammad as we continue to support and walk the path with him and his Family for as long as they have to go through this ordeal.
Posted on 16 February, 2016, in Blog, Videos and tagged bone marrow transplant, hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, HLH, Muhammad, Red Cross, Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.