Two year old boy needs life-saving donors after rare blood disorder diagnosis

Posted on Feb 15 2018 - 1:34pm by admin

Cancer symptoms vary depending on where in the body the tumour is.

Every 14 minutes, someone in the UK is told they have blood cancer, according to charity Anthony Nolan.

The charity matches blood cancer and blood disorder patients with people willing to donate their stem cells or bone marrow.

One family are raising money for the charity after their two-year-old son was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder, and may need a life-saving stem cell donor.

Stephen and Kirsty Armstrong took their son Jacob to a GP in November 2017, after noticing that he bruised easily, and they’d take a long time to disappear.

“We were told to take Jacob for blood tests the following week which we did,” said Kirsty.

“At 6pm the evening after his blood test, I received an urgent call from our doctor.”

Jacob was diagnosed with aplastic anaemia – a rare blood disorder where the bone marrow doesn’t make enough blood cells. The lack of red blood cells means that not enough oxygen is delivered to various part of the body.

The disorder is diagnosed in just 30 to 40 children every year.

Jacob received two blood transfusions, and is currently doing well, said charity Anthony Nolan. But, he many need a stem cell transplant. The transplant involves replacing his own, damaged cells with cells from a healthy person.

Anthony Nolan collates the blood and tissue types of donors, and matches them to patients.

“We got the amazing news that Jacob has a common tissue type, and as a result there are people already on the register waiting to help,” said Anthony Nolan.

“That brought a massive weight off our shoulders as we knew we wouldn’t be searching for that one donor.”

Jacob’s parents are urging people to sign up to the Anthony Nolan stem cell donor register.

“I wasn’t aware of the need for stem cell donors until I found out that Jacob might need a transplant, and what the treatment meant,” said Stephen, Jacob’s dad.

“Once I knew there was something I could do there and then, there was no question about it. It made me realise how important it is to raise awareness of what it means to be a stem cell donor.”

They’re also raising money for the charity, to help patients be matched with potential donors.

Anthony Nolan’s Chief Executive, Henny Braund, said: “Each new donor could give a second chance of life to someone with blood cancer or, like Jacob, a blood disorder.

“Money raised will help pay for those donors to be tissue-typed and enable Anthony Nolan to get vital information to patients, and their families, when they need us.”

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