Hope 4 Haris – Can you save a young cricketers life?

By Sam Brandon Friday 26th Apr, 2019

On the 19th of March Haris’ and his family’s world changed forever. Haris, a very talented left-handed wicket-keeper batsman from Sheffield was due to going on a pre-season tour to Spain. Instead within a week or feeling ill, he was admitted to hospital having been diagnosed with Blood Cancer.

Help save Haris’ life here: http://bit.ly/hope4harris

Haris has played cricket since the age of 6 when he played his first ever game for the local under 11 side. Since then his talents have grown and he has played representative cricket for Sheffield and District and South Yorkshire before being selected for Yorkshire U15, 17 and 19 teams. His latest achievement has been trialling with Leicestershire CCC academy over the winter period. Locally Haris plays for Wath CC 1st Team as opening batsman and wicket keeper in the South Yorkshire Cricket League Championship. Gaining the award last season for both junior and senior wicket keeper of the year. 

For 7-10 days prior to his admission he had been suffering viral symptoms. Headaches, occasional temperatures, aching limbs and very tired. Towards the end of this period he became more tired and short of breath on exertion. It was at this point that we made a GP appointment for him. On the 19th of March we went to the doctor and then for some routine blood tests. Within 4 hours he was admitted to Royal Hallamshire Hospital and we found ourselves in a midst of invasive tests and procedures, blood transfusions and utter devastation at what might be lying ahead.

After an anxious wait, two days later our nightmares became reality and Haris was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia with dysplastic changes. The roller coaster commenced as he started chemotherapy the next Monday and after our initial devastation we all followed Haris’ lead and remain positive about his future.

We take each day by day. His team at the hospital have outlined that he will require at least two rounds of chemotherapy and then a bone marrow transplant in order to fight this disease and give him a second chance at the life he should be living. To date there have been ups and downs, infections and side effects but we are determined to help Haris fulfil his dreams. 

We have been told that finding a stem cell donor to match Haris’ tissue type will be quite difficult due to his mixed heritage. As yet we have not had any donors confirmed.

The process to become a stem cell donor is very quick and easy. Three cheek swabs and a consent form sent to either DKMS or Anthony Nolan. If you are a match to anyone then the process of donating is also simple. 9/10 people donate similarly to giving blood and 1/10 would require a small operation with general anaesthetic to remove their bone marrow directly. 

If you want to help Haris, know someone who could help him or even wish to save another person’s life, all you have to do is register for a simple cheek swab test – It’s that easy!