The three-year-old from Heideveld desperately needs a bone marrow transplant, and his family is now frantically trying to raise funds to save his life.
Little Raqeeb Palm was diagnosed with Aplastic Aneamia in October last year, after his body stopped producing enough new blood cells.
He is only producing 20 percent of his own blood, and doctors said he urgently needs a bone marrow transplant.
His mother Zaida, 30, says her son has no immune system and she fears for his life.
“Last year, I saw Raqeeb running around, playing like a normal child and at bath time I would discover bruises," she says.
“I started monitoring him closely and saw that small bumps that are not supposed to be ‘bad bruises’ would come out dark blue.
“I googled the symptoms and took him to our family doctor.
“After tests were conducted they said his haemoglobin was low, his white cells were low and his platelets, which are suppose to be 120 units [the minimum requirement for a healthy person] was at six,” Zaida says.
The illness has taken a heavy toll on Raqeeb.
“He basically has no immune system.
“Family gatherings, going out to eat, play areas, parks - anything - is too risky to attend as anyone with a cough or a germ picked up could affect Raqeeb badly,” she says
In a further blow, she says of the 71 000 people on the SA Bona Marrow Registry, none is a match for Raqeeb.
They are now appealing for people to help with fundraising efforts to find a match for Raqeeb.
“We’ve looked abroad and found six possible donors. Further testing needs to be done to find an exact match and that could be quite expensive, everything could cost up to R1 million.
“We have started a crowd-funding initiative. I know everyone is struggling and people live day to day, but if anyone is able to donate a small amount, it would make a huge difference,” the mom says.
You can donate at www.backabuddy.co.za or register as a bone marrow donor at sunflowerfund.org.za.