Leicestershire mother urges more men to become bone marrow donors

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Image source, Family handout
Image caption,
Jacob is having a blood transfusion every three weeks and a weekly platelet transfusion

The mother of a boy, 10, is appealing for more men to register as potential bone marrow donors after her son was diagnosed with a rare condition.

Rebecca said she noticed unusual bruising on her son Jacob, from East Goscote, Leicestershire, and was later told by doctors he had aplastic anemia.

She said the best treatment for her son would be a bone marrow transplant.

But with no matches available, he has to undergo a different treatment which will take longer and is less effective.

Rebecca, 35, said she started to notice that Jacob had a lot of bruises on his legs in May.

She said: "He plays football all the time and gets into fights with his brother so I didn't think much of it.

"Then he started getting bruises on his chest, on his back, a few on the back of his hand, places you wouldn't expect a child to get bruises."

Image source, Family handout
Image caption,
Jacob was sent for a blood test after he started to get unusual bruising

Rebecca said Jacob had blood tests at the Leicester Royal Infirmary in August and was swiftly diagnosed with aplastic anemia.

"Basically, it's where your bone marrow decides it's not going to work any more so it stops making every single type of blood - red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets," she said.

Jacob is now having a blood transfusion every three weeks and a weekly platelet transfusion.

Image source, Family handout
Image caption,
Rebecca said the best treatment for her son would be a bone marrow transplant

Rebecca said Jacob needed a bone marrow transplant but there was no-one on the register who was the right match.

Instead, doctors are going to try an immunosuppressive therapy.

"The treatment that he's having is two thirds successful, so potentially in a year, two years, he could have a relapse and we could be here all over again," she said.

She is calling for more people, especially men, to add themselves to the bone marrow register.

The British Bone Marrow Registry (BBMR) said figures from 2018 showed that more than 80% of stem cell donors were men but only 44% of potential donors who come forward are male.

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