Six-year-old Unoshamisa Kasasa is in dire need of $28 000 to undergo a life-saving bone marrow transplant in India.
The formerly bubbly Unoshamisa now cuts a forlorn figure as his condition has restricted him to life indoors, spent either at home or in hospital.
Unoshamisa was diagnosed with Aplastic anaemia at the age of 5. Aplastic anaemia is a condition which causes the bone marrow to cease producing blood cells.
He relies heavily on blood transmissions but this is just a stop-gap measure as it does not cure the disease. Unoshamisa bleeds uncontrollably through the gums, and sometimes bleeds internally. He also has black spots on his body and tongue.
Unoshamisa’s father Edward Kasasa said he undergoes blood transfusion at Parirenyatwa Hospital at least twice a month when his blood levels deteriorate but could lose his life unless he undergoes a bone marrow transplant. He said Unoshamisa can only fully recover if he undergoes a bone marrow transplant, but this service is not available in the country, hence they were referred to India.
The family needs $28 000 to cater for complimentary airport pick-up and drop, hospital stay, food for the patient along with one attendant and consultation charges/investigations.
One of country’s leading financial services institutions, Stanbic Bank Zimbabwe, started the ball rolling by donating $3 000 towards the cause.
Stanbic marketing and corporate affairs manager Palmer Mugavha said the bank was touched by Unoshamisa’s plight hence the donation.
“Our decision was made easier by the fact that Kasasa banks with us and we are pleased to have upheld one of our values of serving our customers, but especially over such a worthy cause. We have since opened an account at Minerva Branch in the name of the beneficiary, Unoshamisa Kasasa. The account number is 0240577418002 and will be administered by the father, Edward. We are urging all like-minded corporates to help save a life by donating towards this cause,” Mugavha said.
Kasasa said Unoshamisa would spend a minimum two months in India for complete medical care and treatment.
He said for the transplant to be done, however, bone-marrow matching needs to be done, adding the donor of the bone marrow can either be a sibling or an outsider with the same type of bone marrow. Siblings matching is cheaper than that of an outsider
While Unoshamisa has a younger brother, three-year-old Akatendeka, their bone marrow types still need to match otherwise they will look elsewhere.
Unoshamisa’s mother, Abigail Mutangiri said life changed for the worse for Unoshamisa in May when he was diagnosed with aplastic anaemia.
“The short-term measure is for him to have blood transfusion when his blood levels are down and from May to date he has had 23 blood transfusions, but he is fast deteriorating and his temperature levels are now hovering between 38⁰C and 40⁰C and this is a cause of concern for us,” Mutangiri said.
She said they fork out $1 200 per transfusion session which is done over two days, but he needs another two to three days of recuperating before going home. He used to go back to hospital after two weeks but now the frequency of transfusions has increased.
“He is now living a very restricted life where he is not allowed to do any physical work, he needs to avoid all sharp objects, he is not allowed outdoors and must avoid the rain at all costs and this is unbearable for a Grade Zero pupil. He has missed the last two school terms due to his condition,” Mutangiri said.