A toddler could lead a ‘normal’ life, thanks to a bone marrow transplant from his older sister.
In his short life, three-year-old Drew Till of Whitby, Ellesmere Port has had to endure more than most youngsters his age, due to the fact he is one of just 700-800 people worldwide who suffers from Diamond Blackfan Anaemia, a rare genetic bone marrow failure.
He spends much of his life in and out of the Countess of Chester and Alder Hey Hospitals for various medication and receives life-saving blood transfusions each month.
Due to a chronic bowel inflammation he is on constant medication and at one stage had to be fed through a tube.
The only cure for the life-threatening disease is a bone marrow transplant, ideally from a sibling - and as luck would have it, Drew’s 10-year-old sister Lexie is a pefect match.
The transplant is planned for later this year at Manchester Children's Hospital, and will mean Drew is able to live life much more freely.
Mum Helen, 43, who along with her husband Andy, 45, is an active member of the Diamond Blackfan Anaemia Charity (DBA UK) which provides support to other families dealing with the disease, said finding out that Woodlands Primary School pupil Lexie was a match, was ‘a double-edged sword’.
“Anyone in our situation would be grateful that we have a match, but then at the same time, it’s involving another child.
“But in dealing with something like this, you’d do anything. Lexie will be able to have counselling afterwards, so if for any reason the transplant didn’t work, she will know she shouldn’t feel guilty.
“Despite the age gap, she and Drew are very close and if this is successful, it will theoretically mean he will be a normal child leading a normal life.”
Helen added: “There will still be checkups and he’s never going to be an Olympic athlete but as far as we’re concerned he will be able to live the normal life he deserves.”