In the final week of our “Race Matters” mini-series, Cells4Life are raising awareness of Fanconi Anaemia.

Fanconi Anaemia was discovered by a Swiss paediatrician in 1927 named Guido Fanconi.  Fanconi Anaemia is a genetic disorder with a higher prevalence in Afrikaners in South Africa and Ashkenazi Jews, FA affects approximately 1 in 350,000 births. The genetic nature of FA means that for those parents who aware that they could have a baby with this illness that they can plan ahead and bank their baby’s cord blood for a perfect match should they need a stem cell transplant in the future.

Fanconi Anaemia is incredibly rare and diagnosis can be timely [1] however, those with FA usually have a congenital anomaly [2].

As we progress through the week we will look at what Fanconi Anaemia is, what the symptoms are and what the risk factors are.

Over the last 4 weeks we have introduced you to the situation that many people face when they need to turn to the stem cell register for a match and we’ve looked at some of the illnesses which may have caused them to need a stem cell transplant.  We’ve looked at the opportunity parents have to secure their child a perfect stem cell match by banking their baby’s umbilical cord blood and how people of all ethnicities can help by joining the bone marrow register.

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