Chesapeake Child Seeks Bone Marrow Donor. Are You A Match?

A 7-year-old boy named Cayden from Chesapeake, Virginia, is in need of a bone marrow transplant due to a rare form of leukemia. Initially, a match was found for Cayden, which brought hope to him and his mother, Courtney Addison. However, they received devastating news when they were informed that the donor is no longer on the registry, with no explanation provided. Despite regular chemotherapy sessions and other medications to control the cancer and its side effects, Cayden’s mother is hoping for a resolution soon, as she believes that no child’s life should be cut short due to a lack of a donor.

This situation highlights the difficulty in finding matching donors for African American patients like Cayden, as black donors are underrepresented in the registry. To address this issue, Courtney Addison emphasizes the importance of increasing the number of people of color on the registry to improve the chances of finding a suitable match. In response, she has taken matters into her own hands by ordering a swab kit online to test herself. She encourages others to do the same, as becoming a donor could potentially save Cayden’s life or the lives of others in a similar situation.

Kate McDermott of the National Bone Marrow Program explains that being a donor typically involves a few hours of the peripheral blood stem cell donation process or, in some cases, a more involved bone marrow donation performed under general anesthesia. The act of donating could make a significant difference in Cayden’s life, as his mother stresses the importance of him having a chance at a long and fulfilling future. The search for a match continues, and updates regarding Cayden’s journey will be provided as the story unfolds.

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