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Toddler Fights Rare Leukemia Using Stem Cells

A bone marrow transplant was supposed to change the life of 2-year-old toddler Sorrel.

She is suffering with acute myeloid leukemia. In the UK, the condition only affects about 10 children each year, making it extraordinarily rare.

Using stem cells from an umbilical cord from Japan, her best prospect of defeating the illness is now a new type of stem cell therapy.

The alternative became plausible after she failed to respond well to chemotherapy treatment at Addenbrooke’s Hospital and no suitable bone marrow donor was found.

Since she was diagnosed last September, Sorrel’s parents Samantha and Robert have been keeping an unwavering vigil at her bedside.

Her ground-breaking surgery is scheduled for today, and she must be closely protected from now on. She will be highly vulnerable to infection says her father who is in Bristol with her.

Robert said: “Sorrel started nine days of pretransplant conditioning last Wednesday. This will basically wipe out her own immune system in readiness for the new stem cells to be transplanted into her. This puts her in a very vulnerable position – that’s why she will be in isolation for about six weeks. It could be very bad news if she catches certain bugs, viruses, fungal infections etc during this time, so we just have to hope she can deal with it.

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