MIAMI – A 14-year-old girl who is undergoing treatment for a rare cancer that is difficult to treat needs platelet donations from people who have A- or AB- blood types.
Before the July 2019 cancer diagnosis, Shanira Adderley was an A honor roll student and a talented athlete who earned a basketball scholarship. When small bumps appeared on her arm, she attributed it to mosquito bites after a practice in her driveway.
Weeks passed and the bumps didn’t heal. Instead, these got bigger. Pediatricians at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood opted for surgery and continued to investigate her case. A bone marrow biopsy changed her and her family’s life.
Doctors identified the enemy: Blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm, or BPDCN, cancer that is rare in children and is usually treated as a type of leukemia — although it isn’t. Shanira, her single mom and her three siblings have been fighting for her life for more than a year and they need help.
“She is on a great path of recovery,” Ronda Attia wrote in a GoFundMe page to benefit Shanira. “With transplant patients, it’s very common that they need platelets and blood transfusions a couple of times a week for the first month. Currently, her platelet count keeps dropping and she’s requiring a lot of infusions. We are in need of donors.”
After adjusting to the reality of the diagnosis, Shanira underwent chemotherapy and turned to Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami-Dade County for bone marrow transplant. Her little brother was a match. She underwent radiation therapy and more chemotherapy. The surgery was July 27.
“Now with COVID the whole family has to be extremely careful what they do because Shanira is immunocompromised,” Attia wrote. “But all the bills keep adding up and even after she is discharged from the hospital her mother needs financial assistance to help with everything because she will still have to return to the hospital about twice a week for the next year. With possible admissions again.”
For more information about how to donate platelets to help Shanira, contact One Blood at 1-888-936-6283. The donor needs to specify it’s a direct donation of platelets to Shanira, whose date of birth is Sept. 16, 2005 and who is a patient of Dr. Jorge Silva Galvez.