A life-saving stem cell match has been found for a 7-year-old boy

Finley Hill, aged seven, has been suffering from a rare disease and needed a stem cell donation. Credit: BPM Media

A little boy fighting a rare disease has received the call his family have been waiting for.

Finley Hill, aged seven, has been suffering from a rare disease which means he spends much of his life in hospital.

Finley suffers from familial haemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), where the body reacts inappropriately to a ‘trigger’ - usually an infection.

However, his family are celebrating that a match has been found to save Finley's life - after a potential stem cell match was found in Brazil.

His mum Jo Hill said: "We are really pleased to be able to have a plan in place and a donor to hopefully cure Finn of this vile illness."

"However, we are also painfully aware of how tough transplant is and the risks associated. "But as we don’t have a choice, we will continue to be as positive as we can and believe that this will be the start of getting our beautiful boy better.

Jo Hill
Jo is hopeful and said if all goes well Finley could lead a normal life. Credit: BPM Media

Speaking about what is next in Finley's road to recovery, she said: "On the week commencing October 24, Finn will have a central line put into his chest and it will stay in throughout his treatment."

"Then on November 11, he will start his conditioning treatment which will provide him with the drugs while his chemo kills off his immune system to make way for his new one."

However, during this time Finley may be at risk of infections and other diseases that he may not be able to fight off, but on November 18, Finley will receive his much needed transplant.

But Jo is hopeful and said if all goes well Finley could lead a normal life.

It comes after the family endlessly held stem cell donor drives in a bid to grow the register that only had two per cent of the UK's population signed up.

How do I become a stem cell donor?

You need to join the stem cell register. You can join online. Fill in the application form at the Anthony Nolan Trust or DKMS. You'll be sent a swab pack in the post.

What does stem cell donation involve?

If you're a match for someone, you can donate your stem cells in two ways: Nearly 90% of people donate their stem cells in a process called peripheral blood stem cell collection. The process involves having a course of injections prior to collection to stimulate the bone marrow and increase the number of stem cells and white blood cells in the blood. The other 10% donate through bone marrow, where they give cells from the bone marrow in their pelvis.

A courier will collect your cells and deliver them to the hospital where the recipient is waiting. They’ll usually give your stem cells to the recipient the same day or the day after you donate.

Credit: BPM Media

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