By Tim Saunders on
The singer attended the event to support Isabelle Huurman, the 6-year-old best friend of leukemia patient Jasmina Anema, who is in need of a bone marrow transplant.
The singer has been helping Jasmina find a donor since she saw a video of the girl’s story earlier this year.
“When I saw the video of Jasmina it broke my heart,” Rihanna told PEOPLE. "It is so unfair that for a black patient it’s so much harder to find a bone marrow match. Jasmina has acute leukemia and she needs a bone marrow transplant to live.
“Leukemia is the most common disease children in the U.S. die of and we need to change that. I urge everyone to sign up as a bone marrow donor with DKMS. If we have more donors, we can save more children like Jasmina.”
Rihanna presented Jasmina’s friend Isabelle a special award at Thrusday’s event.
“I am so honored to be here to present the ‘Links of Love’ award to Isabelle for all she has done for her best friend,” she said. “Thank you, Isabelle. Isabelle has spent time with Jasmina— she is awesome and absolutely worth fighting for. I also have to say she is lucky to have you. You’re an incredible best friend. And best friends are very, very, very important, the kind that we all would be lucky to have. You rock, Isabelle!”
Kylie Minogue also attended the event, after flicking the switch to change the lights of New York’s Empire State building red and white in aid of DKMS. The special ceremony honored the Coty-DKMS Linked Against Leukaemia partnership, which aims to encourage more bone marrow donations.
DKMS is an organization that connects bone marrow and stem cell donors with patients in need. With assistance from donors and patients, family and friends, DKMS has become the largest donor center in the world.
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