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Cancer

Updated 06 March 2019

Record number of potential donors get tested to try to save boy with cancer

A record-breaking 4 855 people waited for hours in the rain to get tested so they could see if they were a match to help save a five-year-old boy fighting a rare form of cancer.

A record-breaking 4 855 people waited for hours in the rain to get tested so they could see if they were a match to help save a five-year-old boy fighting a rare form of cancer.

The potential donors volunteered to help Oscar Saxelby-Lee after his parents made a desperate plea.

Oscar is in a race against time to find a life-saving stem-cell donor, according to the Telegraph.

The little boy is battling an aggressive form of leukaemia and has just three months to find a match after he received chemotherapy.

Oscar has T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (T-ALL), a type of blood cancer caused by the bone marrow being unable to produce enough normal blood cells.

His parents became concerned when severe bruising turned out to be T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (T-ALL), Metro reports.

Described as once being a “happy little boy”, Oscar has endured four weeks of intensive chemotherapy and more than 20 blood transfusions at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

His desperate parents, Olivia Saxelby and Jamie Lee, from Worcester, England, launched an appeal to find a match after he was diagnosed on 28 December.

They wanted to get as many people as possible to sign up as part of a campaign called Hand in Hand for Oscar.

The donors lined up to get tested after Pitmaston Primary School in Worcester over the past weekend.

“I’ve been teaching for 20 years and I’ve never had a child go through something like this,” said Oscar’s teacher Sarah Keating.

“You hear about children getting cancer and you think, ‘That’s dreadful,’ then you move on. In this case we haven’t moved on, we’ll fight this.”

A spokesperson for DKMS — the charity which tests the swabs — said the previous record for the amount of people to take part in a registration event was 2 200, according to the New York Post.

Image credit: Supplied

 

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CANSA’s purpose is to lead the fight against cancer in South Africa. Its mission is to be the preferred non-profit organisation that enables research, educates the public and provides support to all people affected by cancer. Questions are answered by CANSA’s Head of Health Professor Michael Herbst. For more information, visit cansa.org.za.

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