When Elkhan Zaki-Zada was only one year old he was diagnosed with thalassemia. With thalassemia (“Mediterranean anaemia”), due to a genetic defect, only red blood cells with a reduced ability to transport vital oxygen are produced in the bone marrow. There are several types of thalassemia which differ in terms of severity. Patients who are severely affected, require regular blood transfusions. Unfortunately, over time the iron contained in these transfusions will lead to serious organ damage, which means that a timely bone marrow transplant is the only chance of survival for the patient. For Elkhan his illness was also a…
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