Shaylah has a rare condition and needs regular blood transfusions, even over Christmas, to keep her alive.

The seven year old needs blood transfusions every 3 weeks to treat the painful inherited blood disorder, sickle cell disease.

She had a stem cell transplant from her mum in April but complications mean she is unwell again and currently having regular transfusions.

Shaylah says: “It makes me feel better because sometimes I get really tired and once I get my super girl blood I feel strong like supergirl!

“Blood donors are my heroes. I would say a big big thank youuuuuu!! Thank you for being so kind and not being scared of needles like me and I would give them a cuddle for being so kind and chocolate because I love chocolate.”

The disorder, which affects red blood cells, has led to her needing intensive care treatment twice already in her short life, and has caused Moyamoya syndrome, where some arteries that deliver blood to her brain are constricted.

Her mum Leila said: 'Sickle cell affects Shaylah quite a lot - she gets tired very easily, she will wake up with aches and pains, and she gets ill a lot because her immune system is weak. 

'To look at her you wouldn't think there was anything wrong but she has been through a lot. When she was on a supported breathing machine in intensive care, that was difficult to see her going through that. It changes your whole life and you just have to get on with things.

'But she is a little trooper. She is used to the transfusions now and she doesn't cry or anything. She doesn't talk about it and I try and keep it as simple as possible for her. I tell her 'now they are going to take the bad blood out and put the supergirl blood in'.

'I would like to say thank you to all the donors. It may not seem like a big thing when you donate but it goes to people who really need it’.

More blood donors from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities are needed to help patients like Shaylah and to meet the needs of hospitals and patients. 

Certain conditions, such as sickle cell and thalassaemia, are more prevalent within these communities. And, some rare types are also only found within these communities. Patients who require regular blood transfusions benefit from receiving blood from donors with a similar ethnic background.

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