MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A little boy fighting sickle cell disease is in need of a bone marrow transplant.
Unfortunately, the chances of him matching with the perfect person are low right now because there aren’t enough black people to match with in the National Marrow Registry.
Every three weeks Audrea Crumble and her son Dahkiyon Howard, 7, travel two hours to Memphis to have donated blood pumped into Dahkiyon’s body.
“To see him push through stuff. I have been like it is the end and I can’t take it anymore. It made me stronger," said Audrea.
Dahkiyon has sickle cell disease, a genetic blood disorder, that’s altering his red blood cells.
Audrea told us he needs the transfusions to treat another condition caused by sickle cell disease that’s damaging his organs.
“I like football, but I can’t play football because of my condition... If I hit my head the wrong way I might pass out." said Dahkiyon.
The only cure is a bone marrow transplant, but he’s having a hard time finding a person who matches hit ethnic makeup.
Black people who need bone marrow have about a 23% chance of finding donors, compared to 77% of white people.
Audrea said closing the disparities of black donors is critical.
“Anyone else would have around an 80 percent chance. There is like an immediate cause of action that we need people to sign up. If not you or someone close to you. It could potentially hit close to you but what we don’t know could hurt us," said Audrea.
The Center of Disease and Control said about one out of every 365 black babies are born with the disease.
Dahkiyon’s younger brother who is 4-years-old also has it.
“They actually come together and lift each other up and that makes me stronger," said Audrea. “To see him grow and get stronger and learn more about his disease. Know I am teaching him how to teach people about his disease. He is a miracle to me and now the world.”
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