Match found in search for stem cell donor to treat baby with rare blood cancer

Three-month-old Francis, from Walton, Liverpool, who has been diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), an aggressive and rare blood cancer. Credit: PA Images

The family of a three-month-old baby fighting an aggressive and rare blood cancer say they have found a stem cell DNA match after an appeal for donors to come forward.

Francis Oldham, from Walton in Liverpool was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML).

This is a type of blood cancer which causes the bone marrow to make too many abnormal white blood cells and prevents it from making healthy blood cells.

He was given blood tests after his mother Anna spotted an unexplained bruise on his arm when he was just six weeks old.

The family launched an appeal for people to come forward to join the Anthony Nolan stem cell register in the hope of finding a bone marrow donor who could help with his chance of survival.

Baby Francis has also been undergoing chemotherapy.

Now in a post online the ‘Fight for Francis’ appeal say they have found ‘multiple 10/10 matches’.

The post reads: “We’ve found our match! If the weekend couldn’t get any better we’ve just found out that Francis has ‘multiple 10/10 matches’.

"He also has a match for an umbilical cord which isn’t 10/10 but the doctor said that that’s OK.

"So now the relevant people are in contact with these matches to see they’re still willing and then to start the screening to see if they’re definite matches.

"We are so grateful for everyone who has joined the register in hopes of being Francis’ match.

"We really hope everyone continues to join the register as there are thousands of people still looking for their match.”

According to the NHS, about 3,100 people are diagnosed with AML in the UK each year.

The risk of developing the disease increases with age and it is most common in those over the age of 75.

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