pounds 100,000 needed to save life of leukaemia boy

A FAMILY fighting to save the life of their 12-year-old son who has leukaemia face a bill of up to pounds 100,000 to pay for his treatment.

Without the money Fahim Manji, who is being treated at the Royal Free Hospital, London, may be denied the bone-marrow transplant he needs. He has already had two courses of chemotherapy but a month ago doctors found that the disease had spread to his spinal fluid, indicating a relapse.

He is now undergoing further chemotherapy to clear the leukaemia cells while doctors search for a bone-marrow donor. Dr Michael Potter, consultant haemotologist, said: "It is his best hope."

The family, who are from Tanzania, are not eligible for National Health Service treatment. They mortgaged their house for pounds 10,000 before travelling to Britain last June in the belief that it would be more than enough to pay for treatment.

After articles appeared in The Independent and the Harrow Observer, which launched an appeal on their behalf chaired by the mayor of Harrow where the family is staying with relatives, they raised pounds 35,000 which has covered the cost of Fahim's treatment so far.

A bone-marrow transplant, which involves up to six weeks in hospital and six months' recuperation, will cost another pounds 50,000-pounds 80,000. In addition, the cost of finding a donor, paying insurance and other costs is up to pounds 20,000.

Dr Potter said a search of the worldwide bone-marrow register had disclosed one provisional match but further tests were required. "We can't guarantee that a transplant would cure him but it would reduce the chances of the leukaemia coming back. Without it there is a high chance he will have another relapse." If the money could not be raised, it was uncertain whether the transplant could go ahead, he said. "At the moment his treatment is secure. Obviously, we have an obligation to treat people who are acutely sick. But once he is well again and the issue of the transplant comes up then it will be very difficult ... I am not sure what will happen."

Fahim's parents, Amin, 36, and Nasim, 38, who run a salt mine in Tanzania, decided to bring their son to Britain when they were told the treatment he needed could not be provided at home. Over the last nine months, they have tried every avenue to raise money.

Mrs Manji, speaking from her son's bedside, said: "Fahim was happy and well and going to school and then suddenly this happens. He has completely changed. From being a talkative boy he has become very quiet and withdrawn."

Mr Manji, who has been denied a work permit to allow him to support his family, said: "It is very discouraging but there is still hope. The doctors have been so kind and they are optimistic. They have made it clear we need to raise the money immediately."

He said even if he had sold everything he owned in Tanzania it would have raised less than pounds 20,000. After the article appeared in The Independent last June, he received more than 100 letters, one containing a cheque for pounds 10,000 and several others with cheques for pounds 500. "It was marvellous. People have been very kind-hearted."

He does not know what will happen if they cannot raise enough for the transplant. "I have a boy who is sick, a hospital that is asking for money and a home to support. I have been in the graveyard for the last nine months. But there is a light at the end of every tunnel - if Fahim gets better. That is what we are hoping."

Donations may be sent to the Fahim Manji Appeal, 326 Station Road, Harrow, Middlesex HA1 2DR.

Suggested Topics
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
New Articles
i100... with this review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
footballTim Sherwood: This might be th match to wake up Manchester City
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
New Articles
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Blahnik says: 'I think I understand the English more than they do themselves'
Arts and Entertainment
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey
TVInside Downton Abbey series 5
Life and Style
The term 'normcore' was given the oxygen of publicity by New York magazine during the autumn/winter shows in Paris in February
fashionWhen is a trend a non-trend? When it's Normcore, since you ask
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Marketing Manager - Leicestershire - £35,000

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...

Marketing Executive (B2B and B2C) - Rugby, Warwickshire

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...

SEN Coordinator + Teacher (SENCO)

£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...

Research Manager - Quantitative/Qualitative

£32000 - £42000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam