Rare Blood Type Complicates Canadian Woman's Urgent Search for Kidney Donor

Sana Ashoori, a 20-year-old with a rare "Bombay" blood type, urgently needs a kidney donation due to only 30% kidney function. Her family is searching for a compatible donor, highlighting the need for diversity in Canada's organ donation pool.

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Rare Blood Type Complicates Canadian Woman's Urgent Search for Kidney Donor

Rare Blood Type Complicates Canadian Woman's Urgent Search for Kidney Donor

Sana Ashoori, a 20-year-old from Calgary, Canada, is in a desperate search for a life-saving kidney donation due to her rare "Bombay" blood type and only 30% kidney function. Doctors have advised her to find a donor with the same blood group to reduce the risk of organ rejection.

Why this matters: This story highlights the importance of increasing diversity in organ donation pools to improve the chances of finding compatible matches for individuals from ethnic minority groups. Expanding the donor pool could lead to better health outcomes and increased access to life-saving transplants for marginalized communities.

Ashoori's Bombay blood type, which lacks an H antigen, is extremely rare in Canada, making it difficult to find a compatible match. Dr. Dave Sidhu, head of transfusion and transplant medicine in southern Alberta, says "the best option for finding a compatible match is looking within her own ethnic population first." The Bombay blood type is more common in South Asian populations, with approximately one in 10,000 people from India having the blood type, compared to one in a million people of European descent.

Ashoori's story highlights the need for a diverse donor pool in Canada. Dr. Sidhu emphasizes that "the more diverse donors we can have, the better the chance, particularly for people coming from some of these small ethnic minorities, for finding a very suitable or better match for them long-term."

Ashoori's family, originally from Afghanistan, has been searching for a compatible donor but has yet to find one. Her mother, Shaima Rahimi, is working to raise awareness about live kidney donation within South Asian communities. "It's been an uphill battle," Rahimi says. "We have been trying to reach out to people to come forward. Also, we are trying to educate people to know that they can live on one kidney."

According to Joyce Van Deurzen, executive director of the southern Alberta branch of Kidney Foundation of Canada, living donors can donate a kidney very safely and live a long and healthy life with their one remaining kidney. Extensive testing is done ahead of time, and the Living Donor Expense Reimbursement Program can help cover some out-of-pocket expenses for living donors.

Ashoori, who has put her dream of becoming a nurse on hold due to her failing health, is hopeful that the right person will come forward. "I think it would be a really good blessing because kidneys are a vital organ. Without them, I cannot live," she says. "I'd get to be less stressed about my future. And hopefully, in the future, I can also help educate other people and provide more donors to other people who are in need."

Sana Ashoori's urgent search for a kidney donor with her rare Bombay blood type underscores the critical importance of expanding ethnic diversity in Canada's donor pool. As her family works tirelessly to raise awareness and find a match, they hold onto hope that a compatible living donor will step forward to give Ashoori a second chance at life and allow her to pursue her dreams.

Key Takeaways

  • Sana Ashoori, 20, needs a kidney transplant due to rare "Bombay" blood type and 30% kidney function.
  • Doctors advise finding a donor with the same blood group to reduce organ rejection risk.
  • Bombay blood type is more common in South Asian populations, making it harder to find a match in Canada.
  • A diverse donor pool increases chances of finding compatible matches for ethnic minority groups.
  • Ashoori's family is raising awareness about live kidney donation within South Asian communities.