Oscar Saxelby Lee of Worcester, England was diagnosed with an aggressive and rare form of leukemia called T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL), and his family is desperately trying to save his life.
Right now, the 5-year-old boy is in a race against time as the doctors gave him three months to find a stem-cell match which could save his life.
His desperate parents Olivia Saxelby and Jamie Lee, along with his teachers in Pitmaston Primary School, launched a campaign in a bid to find a match for the young boy.
Incredibly, over the weekend nearly 5,000 people braved the rain and queued up outside a primary school in Worcester to get tested to see if they were a match for Oscar.
This rare disease in the UK affects only about 650 people per year with around half of it are children. To date, Oscar has already undergone four weeks of intensive chemotherapy and had more than 20 blood transfusions.
Oscar’s teacher, Sarah Keating said:
“I’ve been teaching for 20 years and I’ve never had a child go through something like this.
“You hear about children getting c@ncer and you think ‘that’s dreadful’, then you move on. In this case we haven’t moved on, we will fight this.”
Determined to save their son, Oscar’s parents are taking inspiration from the young boy’s courage.
His mother, Olivia said:
“We felt like we could not see light at the end of the tunnel, but when looking at Oscar’s cheeky smile, bravery and determination, we managed to pull our strength together again.
“From that moment of fear and confusion, we as a family became stronger than ever. Oscar reminded us how to fight again and just how courageous he is.
“Not once has he shown weakness, nor has he ceased to amaze us throughout the most difficult times and that to us is a true warrior.”
“Oscar is a fun, loving, energetic five-year-old boy who deserves to live to the full alongside the other troopers fighting such horrific diseases.
“Not only does he need to enjoy a normal life a child should live, he now needs someone else to save him.”
Teaching assistant Laura Senter shared that Oscar’s diagnosis came as a huge shock to everyone in their class.
“I couldn’t believe it. I saw him before Christmas and he was his usual happy-go-lucky self.
“It’s a nightmare for this to happen. You can’t really do anything about it, it’s heart-breaking. That’s why we have gone into ‘action mode’ to try and find a donor.”
Meanwhile, about 80 volunteers coordinated and assisted the people who lined up in the rain, scientist are also hoping that they will find donors who have a similar cell structure with the young boy.
DKMS spokesperson, Sarah Gray said:
“It’s really difficult to find a match, it’s essentially like winning the lottery.
“It’s very complex and so the more people we can get on that register, the more chances there are to save lives of patients like Oscar.”