A six-year-old girl with a rare and aggressive form of leukaemia won a national charity award at the Tower of London.

Kaiya Patel from Rickmansworth was announced as the winner of the John Petchey Young Hero Award at this year’s Anthony Nolan Supporter Awards on November 22.

Kaiya was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in March this year - a type of cancer affecting the bone marrow meaning her body produces too many white blood cells.

Her parents, Annu and Ruchit Patel launched the #CureKaiya campaign because just 20 percent of patients from Asian or other ethnic minority backgrounds will find the best possible match, compared to 69 percent of northern European patients.

In August, Kaiya’s family found out a donor had been found and in September she received her stem cell transplant.

On the night, Kaiya’s aunt and uncle Nick and Priya Desai collected the award on her behalf.

Kaiya’s aunt and uncle Nick and Priya Desai, with Mohammad Yasin MP and Ian Kriegar, Chair of the Anthony Nolan Board of Trustees

Ms Desai said: “Kaiya’s bravery and strength astound us every day and it’s wonderful that others get to see it too.

“We are so proud of her and thankful to all of you who dedicated time to raise awareness for this important cause.”

Mr Desai said: “On behalf of the whole family we want to say thank you and we hope the 40,000 plus sign ups we managed to add to the Anthony Nolan stem cell registry through the #CureKaiya campaign, will save a lot of lives.

“Kaiya is a true inspiration to us and I can’t wait to see how much more of an impact she will make in the future.”


Anthony Nolan uses its register to match potential stem cell donors to blood cancer patients in desperate need of a stem cell transplant.

Henny Braund, chief executive of Anthony Nolan, added: “We’re wishing Kaiya all the best as she recovers from her stem cell transplant and I’d like to congratulate her on winning the John Petchey Young Hero of the Year Award.

“Every day at least five people, like Kaiya, begin their search for a matching unrelated stem cell donor to treat their blood cancer or blood disorder. Kaiya’s family have put a great deal of time, effort and energy into raising awareness of Anthony Nolan and encouraging people to join the stem cell register.”

Trudy Kilcullen, chief executive officer of the Jack Petchey Foundation, added: “The Jack Petchey Foundation is determined to engage young people in important issues such as raising awareness of stem cell donation. That’s why we supported a special John Petchey Award to recognise and reward young people’s contribution.

“Kaiya is an inspiration with an incredibly powerful story.”