A care home is backing a campaign to find a life-saving stem cell donor for a five-year-old girl with a rare and aggressive form of leukaemia.

Chalfont Court Care Home in Rickmansworth is holding an open day on May 23 for swab tests to find an urgent tissue match for Kaiya Patel, from Loudwater.

The clinic will run from 10am to 8pm.

Kaiya, who attends St. Helen’s School in Northwood, was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia, a type of cancer affecting the bone marrow, at Watford General Hospital on March 28.

Around 650 people a year are diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia in the UK - half of which are children.

The rare disease type compromises the immune system and clotting functions and is fatal without urgent medical attention.

For the last six weeks, Kaiya, who enjoys running, gymnastics and ballet, has endured chemotherapy and a programme of steroids after being rushed to Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in an ambulance shortly after her diagnosis.

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Volunteers will have to provide a pain-free swab sample from their cheek as part of the donation.

Jay Patel, owner of Chalfont Court, said: "My daughter attends the same school as Kaiya and when the residents and staff heard about her campaign, they were keen to get involved. 

“We hope as many people as possible will pop in on the May 23 and play their part in becoming a potential life saver.

"There are many children, young people and adults who are in need of a donor, and you could be the perfect match. We look forward to welcoming the community on the day."

To check your eligibility, go to www.dkms.org/eligibility

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