June 20th 2023.
Eight-year-old Bobby Browne's family is desperately searching for a stem cell donor to save his life. Bobby, from County Armagh in Northern Ireland, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in May 2022. Before his illness, Bobby was an active boy who loved swimming, football, and was a huge Manchester United fan.
Unfortunately, Bobby's chemotherapy did not work and he underwent CAR-T therapy in November of that year. CAR-T therapy involves taking a patient's T-cells, a type of white blood cell in the immune system, and genetically modifying them to find and kill cancer. However, Bobby's family was informed in February 2023 that the therapy had not worked and a stem cell transplant was the only hope of a cure.
Due to Bobby's weakened immune system, he has been in isolation and unable to go to school or see his friends. His older sister Melissa said, “Finding out Bobby has blood cancer has thrown our world out of balance. We were so happy that the CAR-T treatment had worked initially, but hearing that it had left Bobby’s body too early was devastating.”
The family has started the Bobby Needs A Hero campaign in partnership with blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan to encourage people to sign up to the stem cell donor register. Melissa added, “No one deserves this, especially not an eight-year-old. If you’re able to sign up, please consider becoming a stem cell donor to give people like Bobby a second chance. If you have the opportunity to potentially save a life, take it.”
Henny Braund, Chief Executive of Anthony Nolan, said, “Finding Bobby a donor would be life-changing for him and his family. We are committed to supporting them as they wait for news of a donor who could save his life. If you’re aged 16-30 and in good health, you could give hope to someone like Bobby by joining the Anthony Nolan register today.”
More information on how to join the register can be found here. Bobby's family is hoping someone will be a match and save his life. We encourage everyone to consider joining the stem cell donor register to help people like Bobby.
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