MANILA –Lia Weekes and her husband, who reside in British Columbia, are appealing to potential donors who may be a match to their son diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukemia.
The whole family has been vacationing in the Philippines when six-year-old Joshua started having flu-like symptoms. Upon returning to Canada, it has been found out that the boy has acute myeloid leukemia.
“It’s a complete nightmare. Everything was normal and then everything changed… And now we’re fighting for our baby and he’s fighting for his life,” Weekes says in a CBC report.
Joshua has since been confined at the B.C. Children’s Hospital as he undergoes chemotherapy treatment and receives blood transfusions. In the coming months, he will need a bone marrow transplant. Finding a match, however, may be challenging because of his mixed ethnicity.
“He understands he has some bad cells that we need to get out. He knows he needs to be strong and brave because it can be very scary to have all these strangers poking at you and all of these beeps and alarms… But he can’t understand why mommy and daddy can’t just fix it,” she says in the same report.
Weekes is part Filipino and British while her husband is of Icelandic and Caribbean origin. Either of them may be a potential match but a successful transplant is more likely with an external donor who has a similar racial background.
“We basically want to appeal to anyone who has any of those combinations or any of those backgrounds to come forward as a donor and register,” Weekes calls out through social media.
Those eligible to register as a donor, consider seeing if you are a match by contacting the Canadian Blood Services: https://www.blood.ca/en/stem-cell/register-onematch
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