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5-year-old battling cancer finds perfect stem cell donor match after over 10,000 people come forward to help

After Oscar Saxelby-Lee was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia last year, his parents launched a desperate appeal for donors to volunteer in stem cell testing
UPDATED FEB 26, 2020
(Source : Getty Images)
(Source : Getty Images)

Five-year-old Oscar Saxelby-Lee has finally found a stem cell match in his battle against cancer after a staggering 10,000 donors came forward to get tested in a bid to save his life, according to an earlier report by MEA WorldWide (MEAWW).

On December 28, 2018, Oscar's parents were told he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a rare and aggressive form of blood cancer, after they noticed unusual bruising on his legs, stated a Daily Mail report.

Doctors told 23-year-old Olivia Saxelby and 26-year-old Jamie Lee that their son barely had months to find a match, prompting the embattled duo to launch a public appeal which eventually inspired thousands to line up in the rain and have their stem cells tested.

Now, at least three people have proven to be a perfect match for the youngster, mother Saxelby confirmed on her son's Facebook page, thereby considerably increasing his chances of survival. Oscar now awaits an imminent stem cell transplant as he undergoes chemotherapy at Birmingham Children's Hospital.

"We have the best news to share! Oscar has a match!!!!" Saxelby wrote on the Hand in Hand for Oscar Facebook page. "Absolutely thrilled to announce Oscar has finally got a stem cell match, not just one but three and will be undergoing transplant very soon!! What an emotional rollercoaster it's literally been a journey of heartache and dread continuously, but...WOW!!!  What a feeling of relief and positivity to help Oscar kick cancer's butt!! It's been so so traumatic but we are over the moon with being given a chance to tackle the next step in treatment."

She also extended her gratitude to those who have been with her family since the beginning.

"Thank you, thank you, thank you, from the bottom of our hearts to all of you out there who have registered, supported and continued to spread the word for our beautiful boy and those in need of wonderous bone marrow cells," Saxelby wrote. "We could never have done this without you all!!'

"I cannot tell you how ecstatic I am," Lee added. "I don't think any news has ever made us so happy in our entire lives. We know this is the beginning of yet another tough journey but we will beat this together and get him home where he belongs, living the life he absolutely deserves. Bear we are all behind you my darling."

When Oscar's headteacher Sarah Keating held an open day at Pitmaston Primary School in Worcester for the stem cell testing to take place, a record-breaking 4,855 people came from as far as Wales, Shropshire, and Bath and queued for hours in the rain to help the child. 

Another session held at the Guildhall in Worchester saw over 1,000 people come in to be tested, and hundreds more showed up at the city's university. A series of other events saw a total of over 10,000 people volunteer to get tested. Oscar's parents were delighted last week when doctors confirmed the chemotherapy was finally reducing his cancer cells, after having failed in the first three rounds of treatment previously.