So many people wanted to get tested to see if they are a match to become a stem cell donor for a five-year-old boy fighting cancer that nearly 5,000 of them waited in line in the rain to get tested. Over the weekend, 4,855 people stood in line to try to help Oscar Saxelby-Lee,a boy in the U.K. who’s in a race against time to find a life-saving stem cell donor.
Oscar has been diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and his doctors say he only has three months to find a stem-cell match. DKMS, the charity that tests the potential-donor swabs, says its record for the highest number of people to participate in a registration event like this is 2,200 people, so Oscar’s event more than doubled that record. And with more potential donors, they’re more likely to find a match for him.
“It’s really difficult to find a match, it’s essentially like winning the lottery,” explains SarahGray, a spokesperson for DKMS. “It's very complex and so the more people we can get on that register, the more chances there are to saves lives of patients like Oscar.”