Parents of 6-year-old cancer patient plead for bone marrow donor

MADISON, Wisconsin (WMTV) – A 6-year-old boy from Randolph battles his third diagnosis of leukemia and is looking for a bone marrow donor.

“Liam will not survive without a competition. If we can’t find one that works and cures his cancer, we will, in effect, bury our child,” said Ashley Sanborn.

NBC15 has been following her son Liam’s journey since October 2019.

At 11 months old, Liam was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). He beat the cancer, but weeks after achieving remission, Liam was diagnosed with another blood cancer more common in adults called chronic myeloid leukemia (CML).

“In five and a half years he’s only had two weeks without chemo,” Ashley said on Saturday, minutes before Liam’s last round of chemo.

Last month, at a routine biopsy for Liam’s CML, the Sanborns learned that their son developed a third type of blood cancer called ambiguous lineage leukemia.

“We were both crying and it was a shock,” Ashley said.

Doctors at the American Family Children’s Hospital are now preparing for a bone marrow transplant.

“We really try to target all three” [cancers] because they’re all in one cell,” said pediatric oncologist Dr Christian Capitini.

“I think he has a very high risk of leukemia and I think we need to be aggressive with the transplant,” he said. “It’s really his only chance for a cure at this stage.”

The plan is for Liam to get the transplant once he’s in remission and until then find the best match and continue chemotherapy. “The more leukemia cells that are left behind before the transplant occurs, those cells will outgrow and outnumber the healthy donor’s incoming immune cells,” explains Dr. Captain out.

Liam’s mom said that without whole siblings, Liam has no chance of matching up with a family member. She called the transplant her last source of hope.

Anyone willing to help can join the Be the Match portal in Liam’s honor by texting LovingLiam to 61474 or by going online.

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