Windsor family seeking stem cell donors to help save baby girl
Published Wednesday, January 18, 2017 4:42PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, January 19, 2017 11:21AM EST
A Windsor family is asking for your help to potentially save their newborn daughter.
Five-month-old Madalayna Ducharme has a very rare genetic disorder called Malignant Infantile Osteopetrosis.
It’s a disease that could be fatal, if left untreated.
Her mother, Tamara Ducharme, says they didn’t know there was a problem until their doctor discovered low phosphate levels and some bulging of the fontanelle on Madalayna’s head.
“It's awful” says Ducharme about the diagnosis. “We didn't want it. We knew it was a possibility, we kept saying this is not right."
The condition is quite rare. According to Sick Kids hospital in Toronto, only one in 200,000 people are affected. Officials say it is characterized by dense bones, and typically results in hearing loss, vision problems, fractures or worse.
But there are promising treatments. Stem cell and bone marrow transplants are options. But the family needs a match.
So Tamara Ducharme posted a message on Facebook, asking friends to spread the word and get people signed up to become donors through the one-match registry.
Her post has now gone viral, shared by thousands, to give her daughter a fighting chance.
“It gives me some hope that maybe someone out there will do a swab and match her, and help us, sooner than later," says Ducharme.
There's a swab event being held in Madalayna's name at St. Clair College on Thursday Jan. 26 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. You can also visit the Canadian Blood Services office anywhere in Canada, or register online.