A family has reissued a desperate plea to save the life of a seriously ill girl who has already undergone 100 blood transfusions – including two while still in the WOMB.
Disney-mad Chloe Gray, seven, has incredibly rare disorder – Diamond Blackfan Anaemia – which only affects approximately 700 people in the world.
Her disorder means the bone marrow does not produce red blood cells properly and the only answer is a stem cell transplant by an anonymous donor.
Her family initially launched the #aheroforchloe campaign last year which has already been endorsed by celebrities Sir Tim Rice and Lorraine Kelly.
But efforts are now being doubled in a bid to find a suitable match because time is running out.
Before she was born, Chloe had to battle for survival after a 20-week scan revealed she had fluid in all her vital organs.
Tests showed little Chloe was severely anaemic and at 22 weeks she underwent her first blood transfusion while still in the womb.
Her second life-saving transfusion took place when mum Francesca Bowser, 27, was 28 weeks pregnant.
After being born five weeks premature, weighing just 4lbs 10oz, the tot had a full blood exchange, which saw all of the blood removed from her body and replaced to keep her alive.
The transfusions have left Chloe with an unnaturally high build-up of iron in her body, which has to be dissipated with a pump that is attached to her 24 hours a day.
At the same time, Chloe, from Sunderland, Tyne & Wear., is anaemic and has to be tube-fed seven times a day.
Her symptoms include fatigue, poor growth, lack of appetite and a pale complexion, with Chloe’s low immune system also causing concern.
A stem cell transplant would mean Chloe’s bone marrow is replaced with healthy, donated bone marrow and she would no longer be reliant on blood transfusions.
Although Chloe, who loves Disney, princesses and make-up, has three siblings, none of them have a matching tissue type to hers.
Her parents Francesca and dad Craig Bowser, 33, have had to quit their jobs as a carer and energy consultant to help look after Chloe.
Mum Francesca said: “Finding a donor would mean she gets quality of life back – she can’t swim, go on rides, or do normal things that her brothers and sister can.
‘We want to give her back some of the childhood that she’s missed.
“It’s very hard for Chloe when she’s feeling unwell.
“We came up with the hashtag #aheroforchloe because we’ve been to Disney before through Make a Wish because she loves her Disney characters and heroes.
“Now we need to find one to help her.
“She’s really good when she goes to hospital, but the problem is we can’t continue with the blood donations for much longer because she’s started to develop antibodies and her body will fight it.
“If we find a possible match then they have to undergo further tests.
“A certain match would be 10 out of 10 markers or nine of 10 on the markers through the DNA check and they obviously want to find the best one for her to get the best result.
“We know of a friend who has been called up after they were a match and this could also help save someone else’s life.”
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