Mississauga girl with rare form of leukemia seeks donor

A Mississauga family is asking for help to save their nine-year old girl who suffers from a rare form of leukemia.

Family organizes public swab event in Vaughan on Sunday

A Mississauga family is asking for help to save their nine-year old girl who suffers from a rare form of leukemia. 2:13

A Mississauga family is asking for help to save their nine-year old girl who suffers from a rare form of leukemia.

Isabella Mannella was diagnosed in October and has big dreams of one day becoming a doctor.

Christina Petrovic is member of Isabella's family and said the odds are against the girl but there may be hope.

"She has a rare form of ALL (acute lymphoblastic leukemia) called precursor B and within that rare form a more rare form with a chromosomal abnormality  that accounts for less than 1 per cent of the rarest forms of leukemia," she said.

The Canadian Blood Services' OneMatch Stem Cell and Bone Marrow Network is helping organize a swab event on Sunday in Vaughan in hopes of finding a match.

Experts says siblings work as a match 25 per cent of the time.

"That means 75 per cent of time patients would rely on someone they do not know, a stranger," said Hailu Mulatu with OneMatch.

Mulatu said simply swabbing a persons cheek can determine if they have the right genetic material to be a donor.

The Mannella family may have already found a match through a blood bank overseas, but there are no guarantees.

The event, which is also a fundraiser to help pay for Isabella's medicine, starts at 1 p.m. at the Springhill Marriott Suites in Vaughan.

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