ALMOST 5,000 people queued for hours in the rain to get tested to see if they were a match to help save a five-year-old boy fighting a rare cancer.
The potential donors volunteered to help brave Oscar Saxelby-Lee following a desperate plea from his parents.
The youngster is in a race against time to find a life-saving stem cell donor after he was diagnosed with rare cancer.
Oscar was diagnosed with the aggressive form of leukaemia after bruising turned out to be cancer on December 28 last year.
RACE AGAINST TIME
Doctors say he now has just three months to find a stem-cell match which could save his life.
Over 4,800 donors queued up to get tested after Pitmaston Primary School, in Worcester, opened their doors for a donor search over the weekend.
His teacher Sarah Keating said: “I’ve been teaching for 20 years and I’ve never had a child go through something like this.
“You hear about children getting cancer and you think ‘that’s dreadful’, then you move on. In this case we haven’t moved on, we will fight this.”
And his teaching assistant Laura Senter, 22, said his diagnosis came as a shock to their class.
She added: “I couldn’t believe it. I saw him before Christmas and he was his usual happy-go-lucky self.
“It’s a nightmare for this to happen. You can’t really do anything about it, it’s heart-breaking.
“If a child falls over and cuts their knee you can put a plaster on it. With something like this you can’t just fix it.
“That’s why we have gone into ‘action mode’ to try and find a donor.”
Oscar’s cheeky smile, bravery and determination, has pushed us to to pull our strength together again
Oscar's mum Olivia
His desperate parents Olivia Saxelby and Jamie Lee, of St Johns, Worcester, launched an appeal to find a match after his diagnosis.
They aimed to get as many people as possible to sign up to a blood stem cell donor register as part of a campaign called ‘Hand in Hand for Oscar’.
Olivia, 23, said: “We felt like we could not see light at the end of the tunnel, but when looking at Oscar’s cheeky smile, bravery and determination, we managed to pull our strength together again.”
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DKMS, the charity that tests the swabs, said its record for the highest number of people to take part in a registration event is 2,200 people.
Volunteers were sat at tables and chairs in two of the school’s halls over the weekend, handing out swabs and completing donor registration forms.
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