Her whanau is desperate and looking first to their close family members to see if they are able to provide a match but if that fails need to be able to call about other Maori to see if they can help. So far we understand a match has not been found.
Each year, many patients are diagnosed with leukaemia or other life-threatening blood disorders. Bone marrow (or stem cell) transplantation is the only possible treatment for many of these patients. The most suitable donor is a fully matched (tissue-typed) family member, but only 1 in 3 patients are lucky enough to find a family match so a search for an unrelated donor is often necessary.
Because New Zealand has the highest proportion of Polynesian people in the world, the New Zealand Registry has made a commitment to focus on enrolling Maori and Pacific Islanders as volunteer bone marrow donors. In this way, more donors can then be made available to Maori and Polynesian patients nationally and worldwide.
More Maori descendants are needed to become blood or bone marrow donors. There are only 5,000 Maori on the Blood/Bone marrow register compared to 11 million of our pakeha whanau and friends. Not a lot to choose from for Maori when you are looking for a match.
TangataWhenua.com understands the issues that we as Maori have around the giving of blood and organs, but this is a little girl who needs your help to get a bone marrow transplant which will save her life. No doubt the decision is yours, but there are karakia that will help with this and we are sure there will be a way to help.
The Kingi whanau have expressed their deep appreciation to those who have shown them support, including the Taku Mana Untouchables Touch Club Napier for donating their prize winnings last week and all those who have had their bone marrow tested so far, and event to the whanau who cashed in their Sting tickets to start a fund!
Once you have donated please let Shar Kingi, Te Ara’s mum know and she will contact Starship with your name so they can push the results through urgently.
About the Proceedure
Bone marrow is collected from the hipbones using a needle and syringe, under a general anaesthetic. The procedure can take up to two hours. Recovery time varies, but usually you can go home the next day and resume your normal activities after two or three days. Bone marrow re-grows rapidly to replace the donated cells.
How to Donate
Contact the New Zealand Bone Marrow Donor Registry (NZBMDR)
To become a donor you need to be between the ages of 18 and 40 and in good health at the time of registration. You will be asked to donate a unit of blood (470 mls) and undergo screening tests for viruses or other infections. Your tissue type will then be entered into a national database and compared with patients needing a transplant. If you match with a patient you will be contacted for another blood sample to confirm the match and asked if you are still happy to donate.