Little Arend is a happy-go-lucky 7-month-old baby. He loves to play with his sister, make funny sounds, and is making leaps and bounds, literally, as he learns to move his body independently. As much as these should be exciting times for Arend and his family though, their joy is clouded by fear and concern for what the future holds. In his short life, Arend has already fought many difficult battles, beginning before he was even a month old when he was admitted to hospital for a full sepsis work up and then received ten days treatment for pneumonia. While Arend’s family was hopeful this was just an isolated, albeit terrifying, experience, just four months later he developed lymph nodes the size of golf balls. Back in the hospital again, they found that Arend had developed abscesses in his throat requiring immediate treatment. Following surgery, he was diagnosed with CGD - chronic granulomatous disease, presenting yet another dramatic turning point for this young family and their baby. “We endured a one month stay in the hospital while he fought off his infection,” says Arend’s mother. “It turns out that Arend needs a stem cell transplant from a matching donor to cure his disorder.”
As of now, Arend does not have a matching donor in the international database for a stem cell donors and unfortunately, he has no matches within his family. Though the family currently lives in Canada, Arend has South African and Latvian roots, making the process of finding a matching donor even harder due to his genetic diversity. “Please help our family find a matching donor,” pleads his sister Marita. “I love my brother, I wish he could get better! Let’s give him a chance!”
You could be the person to give Arend or the thousands of patients like him a second chance at life. If you are between 18 and 55 and in general good health, you can register as a potential stem cell donor with us and request your DIY swab kit today: www.dkms.org/arend
Registering takes just minutes, but could mean a lifetime for patients like Arend, as well as bringing hope to patients in need around the world.
Please also share this drive to make sure we reach as many people as possible and give Arend the best chance at finding his life-saving match.