Zahara is a lively child who loves singing, dancing, playing mini-golf with her mom and dad and—believe it or not—going to the dentist! She also suffers from sickle cell disease -- a serious blood disorder that affects 1 in 500 African American children born each year.
Zahara was diagnosed at birth. On good days, Zahara gets to live the life of a normal child. On bad days, she’s confined to a hospital bed, constantly being monitored to ease her symptoms and stay one step ahead of her sickle cell anemia.
"Something very simple for a child without sickle cell disease can be potentially life-threatening for her," said Kesha, Zahara's mom. "A bone marrow transplant is the only way to ensure that she lives a long, healthy life."
Zahara's parents have been upfront -- she knows she needs to find a bone marrow donor and does her part to raise awareness by educating her classmates and wearing a DKMS sticker everywhere she goes. She dreams of becoming a doctor someday so that she can help other patients with diseases like hers.
The only way for Zahara's dreams to come true is if she finds a compatible donor. For Zahara, this is a steep challenge -- most compatible donors share a similar ancestry, and sadly, just 7% of registered donors are African American.
"From the heart of a mother, who wants to hear doctors tell you that your child may not live to be as old as you are," said Kesha "No one should need a bone marrow transplant and not be able to get it. There's enough people in the world. It's just a simple swab."
Help Zahara find her lifesaving match.