Stem Cell appeal in Spitalfields for little Lennon Goulart-Williamson, 3, to save his life
PUBLISHED: 18:03 27 June 2016 | UPDATED: 19:44 27 June 2016
Tiny Lennon Goulart-Williamson is just three years old—but desperately needs a matching donor to save his young life.
His mum and dad are appealing for people to register as potential blood stem cell donors.
He has a rare condition and the closest diagnosis is juvenile myelomonocytic leukaemia, which is a myelodysplastic syndrome.
Now the lively, smiling little tot who loves strumming a guitar and playing the drums at his home at Spitalfields in London’s East End badly needs a blood stem donation from someone with a matching tissue type.
So Richard Williamson and wife Juliana have this week begun a search for a donor to register with the DKMS charity researching into the rare condition.
“This isn’t just for Lennon,” his father Richard said. “We need to improve the chances for all these children who can’t do anything about it.
“It really sucks as a parent and we don’t want it to suck for anyone else.”
He added: “Donating blood stem cells is really easy to do and it throws a lifeline to someone.”
A blood stem cell donation from another person for many with a cancer or blood disorder is their only chance of survival.
They will die if a matching donor isn’t found for them.
Fewer than one-in-three needing a stem cell match will find a donor within their own family, which is usually their sibling.
But Lennon is an only child, so his best chance of finding a matching donor is among those who are registered as potential blood stem cell donors with DKMS.
Lennon is still happy and fun-loving in spite of his life-threatening illness.
His family have set up an international campaign on Facebook and Twitter called #CheekySwab to raise awareness, organize donor recruitment events and encourage more research into these rare disorders that could hold the key to medical science’s understanding of how our blood and immune systems work—and why they sometimes don’t.
The charity’s donor recruitment manager Aga Chrosciel said: “Registering as a potential donor only takes a few minutes.
“But it could lead to giving decades to someone else. It could lead to saving Lennon’s life or the life of someone else in need of a stem cell donation for their survival.”
Volunteers can register online for a cheek swab kit to do a tissue test at home which would go on the database—and maybe one day become a blood stem cell donor.