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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 August, 2004, 12:39 GMT 13:39 UK
Church appeal for sick Muslim boy
Blood test
Finding a match is difficult for patients with a mixed-race heritage
A church is appealing for mixed-race bone marrow donors on behalf of a young Muslim boy diagnosed with a rare and life-threatening genetic disorder.

Five-year-old Adam Fansa, from Worthing in West Sussex, was diagnosed with X-linked lymphoproliferative syndrome - or Duncan's Syndrome - last October.

He was put on life support and it was unclear whether he would survive.

The Richmond Hill United Reform Church in Bournemouth is holding the appeal between 1630 BST and 2000 BST.

Greater impact

Minister Donald Norwood said the church became involved in the appeal through the Bournemouth Islamic Centre next door.

He said it was hoped the joint appeal by the two centres would help create greater impact and awareness.

Adam's parents, Sam and Lina, are of Syrian extraction but his mother also has Scandinavian ancestry, making a match difficult.

Mr Fansa is hoping the appeal for donors will lead to a match for Adam, who now lives with a nasal gastric tube which provides him with vital nutritional support.

Mixed parentage

"A full match would increase the likelihood of success and reduce the possible risks involved in a transplant operation," he said.

A spokeswoman for the Anthony Nolan Trust, the charity behind the appeal, said: "As tissue types are inherited genetic characteristics, a patient in need of a bone marrow transplant is most likely to discover a suitable donor among groups of people who share a similar genetic history."

She also noted that fewer than 3% of donors registered with the trust are Asian, making it very difficult to find donors for patients who are of mixed parentage.

Anyone who might be able to help is being urged to contact the Anthony Nolan Trust.

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