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Hopeful future for battling Baby Francis after he has life-saving transplant 

6 months ago

Hopeful future for battling Baby Francis after he has life-saving transplant 

The baby boy from Merseyside who sparked a huge campaign encouraging people to become donors has had the life-saving stem cell transplant he needed to save his life.

Battling ‘Baby Francis’, is doing well and is hopefully on the road to recovery.

Parents Aaron and Anna have revealed:

“Francis is getting his bone marrow biopsy next week but he’s showing 100% donor cells in his blood which is amazing. His body has accepted the transplant and he’s engrafted. We have no words other than wow!”

And they added: “We are so proud. Another day closer to ringing that bell and getting Francis home and beginning his life once and for all.”

Eight-month-old Baby Francis was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), a type of blood cancer which causes the bone marrow to make too many abnormal white blood cells and prevents it from making healthy blood cells.

He underwent chemotherapy, but doctors told the family his only chance of a cure would be to have a stem cell transplant.

In August last year, Francis’s mother Anna Holland, from Formby, urged people aged 16-30 to sign the Anthony Nolan register in a bid to find her son a match, before teaming up with blood cancer charity, DKMS, to organise special blood stem cell donor registration events in Merseyside throughout September. DKMS holds the UK’s largest stem cell register, and signs up people aged 17-55.

For both Anna and DKMS it meant new potential donors could be found and registered who could give hope not just to Francis, but to other blood cancer patients in need.

Fortunately for Francis and his family, a stem cell match was found, and in December an operation to transplant stem cells went ahead in a north west hospital.

Anna added:

“For a lot of people, Francis included, this is their last chance at life.  We are feeling optimistic about our future. We can now picture a future for Francis instead of wondering whether he will have one. The worry will always be there but right now we are hopeful that he will live a normal life thanks to this transplant.” 

A spokesperson for DKMS said:

“Anna and Aaron are bursting with pride, and we’re right there with them. Thanks to a perfect stem cell match found on the register, Francis now has a chance at a future filled with joy, laughter, and countless more milestones.

“His family’s hope is turning into reality, and it’s all because someone selflessly joined the stem cell register.”

“We are absolutely thrilled that Francis’ body has accepted the donor stem cells, and this wouldn’t be possible without the selfless person on the DKMS stem cell register who donated their stem cells to him. We would always encourage everyone to join the register.”

Find more information about DKMS here.

Find all the latest Liverpool news here.

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