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07 Sep 2015 2 Comments

Miracle Story: 5-Year Old Charlie’s Stem Cells Saved Her Twin Brother

In Chicago, a 5 year old Charlie Godish helped her twin brother fight against an aggressive form of cancer through stem cell donation. Her selfless act to donate stem cells has saved her brother who is leading a healthy life now. Bradley and Charlie are 5 years old fraternal twins living in Chicago. When Bradley Godish was diagnosed with acute myeloid Leukemia, the doctors suggested that the most promising treatment option would be four rounds of chemotherapy followed by stem cell transplantation. They found Charlie to be a perfect match for the bone marrow stem cell transplant. The transplant coordinator, Dr. Jennifer Schneiderman of Ann and Lurie Children’s Hospital, Chicago said that she wouldn’t have suggested Charlie’s stem cells if they both were identical twins because an identical twin is more likely to have the risk of carrying the same Leukemia type. As Charlie is a fraternal twin, she had the same chance of matching as any other sibling. However, in this case, she was the best match they could find for Bradley’s stem cell transplant procedure.

When their parents asked Charlie, if she could help her brother get better by giving her blood cells, she accepted and said, “Okay, I want to help Bradley. Let me know when you need me.” The transplant involves extraction of the bone marrow stem cells from the hipbone which will be processed and transfused into the patient. Six months after the treatment, Bradley was completely recovered and the twins have started going to kindergarten. The selfless act of this little girl saved the life of her brother from an aggressive form of cancer through stem cell therapy.

Stem cells play an important role in the treatment of paediatric cancers. After successful remission of cancer in patients across the world, stem cell therapy has become an approved treatment option in many hospitals. Preserving umbilical cord stem cells can also help in the treatment of cancer and other blood related diseases because these stem cells are pristine (pure without infection), readily available, and 4/6 HLA matching is sufficient (other sources may require 6/6 HLA matching) for the transplant. These preserved umbilical cord stem cells can also be used for siblings, if need arises. To know more about the effectiveness of stem cells

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