You could be the lifesaving match Zoey and Misha Prajapati have been waiting for.Join the stem cell registry!
Twin toddlers Zoey and Misha Prajapati need a stem cell donor to help them recover from a rare genetic condition which puts them at risk of severe infections from common bacteria and fungi. Their parents hope their family's story encourages more people from their South Asian community to join the stem cell registry.
Two-and-a-half-year-old twins Misha and Zoey are a couple of little girls with big personalities.
“Zoey is more outgoing and engages others. She can make friends with ease and is very sweet and she always looks after everyone else first,” says Sanjay Prajapati, the twins’ father. “Misha is more reserved, but a spitfire once she warms up. She loves to dance and dress up. Misha is equally as sweet, but also more of a daredevil, constantly pushing her limits.”
But these identical twins, who live in Brampton, Ont., are also facing a life-threatening illness. They were diagnosed at the age of seven months with chronic granulomatous disease (CGD), a rare genetic condition which puts them at risk of severe infections from common bacteria and fungi.
To protect them, Sanjay and his wife, Nipa, do a lot of extra handwashing and cleaning, and screen visitors to their home for symptoms. But the girls’ only hope for a cure is a stem cell transplant.
Since Misha and Zoey are genetically identical, a single matching donor could be the key for both of them. Like all patients, their best hope is with a donor who shares their ethnic background, but people of South Asian descent make up only seven per cent of those listed on Canadian Blood Services Stem Cell Registry. They’re also underrepresented on the stem cell registries around the world to which Canadian patients have access.
“I want to tell those in the South Asian community who are considering registering that the whole process is easy,” says Sanjay. “A cheek swab is much easier than a swab for COVID-19.”
A stem cell donor would mean the world to Misha, Zoey and their whole family. The girls are new big sisters who never miss a chance to deliver goodnight kisses to their baby brother, Arjun. A donor could make it possible for them to enjoy many more years of precious family moments.
Learn more about stem cell donation, and register if you are between the ages of 17 and 35. You won’t just make a difference. You’ll make all the difference.