5,000 People Stand in Rain for Hours to See if Stem Cells Match for 5-Year-Old Battling Cancer

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In December last year, Oscar Saxelby-Lee a five-year-old child was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, called T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

This type of leukemia is aggressive and causes the bone marrow to release immature white blood cells.

The treatment for this rare form of cancer requires a stem cell transplant within three months, after the appearance.

The willingness of the donors to help after the announcement was really great, and more than 5,000 people came to check if they were eligible.  

Laura Senter, 22, who was Oscar’s teaching assistant said that his diagnosis shocked the entire class as his illness developed extremely fast, which was really unbelievable.

This heart-breaking story engaged all students from his class, so they have gone into action mode to try and find a donor.

The great attention for his problem showed his primary school in Worcester, England, and organized the big event led by Sue Bladen, the business manager, who expressed the readiness to do whatever it takes to find a donor.

His teacher, Sarah Keating, said that in her experience of her 20-year teaching career this was the first time a child went through something like this. She said that they were determined to fight it.

About his health problem, the crowdfunding page started in February. Everyone from the age of 17 to 55 could be registered as a donor.  The Oscar’s parents and the school raised about $11,300 fund, which was not expected from their side. 

In the event were involved more than 200 volunteers and on the first day, more than 1,800 potential donors were registered, and the next day, over 3,000 people showed up.

The showed people stand in line around the block, in the pouring rain, but their spirit and generosity were incredible.

After the announced event, a thousand more people registered online to be potential donors.

The determination of the eligibility of the potential donors takes about six weeks. Lisa Nugent, the head of donor recruitment explains that a suitable match is very difficult to find because there are 17,000 HLA characteristics that need to be investigated.

Oscar is now treated in the Birmingham Children’s Hospital and has already undergone a month of chemotherapy and 20 blood transfusions.

The Oscar’s mother reminded that he deserves to live to the fullest, alongside the other troopers fighting such horrific diseases. He now needs someone else to save him and to enjoy a normal and simple life.




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