10-Year-Old Girl With Sickle Cell Disease Desperately Waiting For A Bone Marrow Match
A 10-year-old girl has spent her decade of life in and out of the hospital, going to doctor’s appointments and receiving treatments, but a bone marrow transplant could change everything.
Sarah Efe-Martins was born with sickle cell disease, which is an inherited blood disorder. According to Hopkins Medicine, it is marked by flawed hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to the tissues of the body. When someone has sickle cell disease, this interferes with the delivery of oxygen to the tissues. When they lose their oxygen, they change shape, stick together, and cannot easily move through blood vessels, which causes blockages and pain.
Efe-Martins mother began researching this disease and learned about bone marrow transplants in the United States. She immediately knew this is what her daughter needed and did whatever it would take to move to the United States in the hopes of one day getting this surgery for her daughter.
When Efe-Martins was five years old, she, her mother and little brother moved from Nigeria to the United States to give her a fighting chance.
Unfortunately, in June of 2022, Efe-Martins was diagnosed with avascular necrosis, which was brought on by her sickle cell disease. This condition causes bone tissue to die off, which leads to excruciating pain.
Efe-Martins began therapy, but then suffered a stroke a few days later. Her mom immediately drove her back to the hospital, where she underwent three months of blood transfusions to reduce brain damage.
From there, doctors put her on the Be The Match transplant list, with hope that she will find a match for a bone marrow transplant to save her life.
Her mother is now sharing her daughter’s story and raising awareness about bone marrow transplants and donations.
“The reason I’m doing this, is for someone out there, you can never know,” her mom told GMA. “Not just for my daughter. There are people on the waiting list, we have different kinds of issues, illnesses, diseases out there waiting for a bone marrow transplant. So you never know, you could be that match. You could be that person’s dream.”
Hear more of Efe-Martins’ story in the video below:Whizzco