Thousands Queue In The Rain To Save Five-Year-Old Boy From Leukaemia
Oscar Saxelby-Lee is in a race against time to find a life-saving stem cell donor, battling an aggressive form of leukaemia.
The five-year-old's family issued a desperate plea after doctors warned he may only have months to get the life-saving treatment he needs.
It didn't take long for the community to band together and what they could to save Oscar, from Worcester in England.
His local school, Pitmaston Primary School, opened their doors for a donor search over the weekend, and the turnout was remarkable -- nearly 5000 potential donors braved the rain as they lined up to check if they were a stem-cell match for the little boy.
“I’ve been teaching for 20 years and I’ve never had a child go through something like this," Oscar’s teacher Sarah Keating told local media.
“You hear about children getting cancer and you think ‘that’s dreadful’ then you move on. In this case we haven’t moved on, we will fight this.”
Close to 80 volunteers were on hand on Saturday and Sunday, working in shifts to ensure each and every person in the long queue could donate.
The young boy is under the care of doctors at Birmingham Children's Hospital.
So far he's had 20 blood transfusions and four weeks of chemotherapy.
Oscars mother Olivia thanked those who reached out on social media.
Stem cell transplants are needed when a patients body doesn't produce blood cells correctly.
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"It's really difficult to find a match, it's essentially like winning the lottery," Sarah Gray, of blood cancer charity DKMS, told the BBC.
"It's very complex and so the more people we can get on that register, the more chances there are to saves lives of patients like Oscar."