Charity salute for the Siddiquis

A Newton Mearns family have reached a £200,000 fundraising milestone for blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan, inspired by their daughter’s ongoing search for a bone marrow match.

Noreen acting as a batonbearer in the Queens Baton Relay, with support from Nadeem, Ayesha and Saif.

The Siddiqui family were saluted by the charity on social media sites as a symbolic thank you, with people from all over the country using the hashtag #SaluteSiddiqui.

The tireless efforts of Noreen and Nadeem Siddiqui follow 10-year-old Ayesha’s diagnosis with leukaemia in 2011.

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The family’s search for a bone marrow donor is ongoing and, while Ayesha receives treatment, the couple continue to raise funds through Ayesha’s Bone Marrow Appeal.

Noreen told The Extra: “Now that I’ve been through it, I don’t think I’ll ever stop fundraising. What else can I do as a mum? I can’t help Ayesha medically, so this is what I do.”

The Siddiquis put their fundraising total down to support from their community.

Noreen explained: “It feels so good to be walking to school, or the local shops, and people I don’t know stop me to ask how Ayesha is doing.

“We’re so lucky that everyone in the community has taken Ayesha and our situation to heart.”

On the family’s online salute, the fundraiser added: “I was truly humbled and touched by the response. It’s always great to know you’re not alone.”

Henny Braund, chief executive at Antony Nolan, said: “We can’t say thank you enough to the Siddiquis.

“The Ayesha’s Bone Marrow Appeal team have worked tirelessly, and have been key to increasing awareness of our lifesaving work in the black and ethnic minority community.”

Ayesha celebrated her 10th birthday last week with a party — her first since her diagnosis.

Noreen added: “She still has hospital appointments but she’s attending school as much as she can.

“It’s amazing how attractive normality is — we crave routine now, and try to keep our lives as normal as possible in between.”

Next up for the appeal is a fashion show, to be held in late October — and the family plan to extend their charity gains to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Yorkhill.

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