Pop star Rihanna has vowed to help leukaemia sufferers after the six-year-old girl she attempted to save from the disease passed away in January. Little Jasmina Anema captured the "Umbrella" hitmaker's heart in 2008 after the youngster's desperate family appealed online for bone marrow donors.
The singer supported the public appeal, and kept in close contact with Jasmina, but was left "heartbroken" when the child passed away in hospital last month. Now the singer has submitted a request for funding from bosses at beverage giant Pepsi, who have launched the Refresh Project, which hands out $20 million annually to good causes.
Rihanna wants part of the fund to go towards DKMS, which helps to try and find bone marrow donors for the victims of leukemia. After performing at the Refresh Project's launch party, she told reporters how Jasmina had spurred her on to do all she could to battle the condition.
Rihanna says, "She was a very free, fun spirited little girl, full of energy, always happy, always energetic. I always remember she wouldn't sit still. She was always running around, always had a smile on her face. If we win (the funding), this would really help us recruit 4,000 individual donors."