A 6-year-old boy is in desperate need of a life-saving stem cell (bone marrow) transplant.

Ayden Palmer battled back from brain surgery in December, and now his family is hoping he’ll beat the odds once again.  Their son’s story highlights the desperate need for stem cell donors, especially among the African community.

Ayden spends several hours every few weeks getting blood transfusions at a hospital in the United States, where he resides, to help him battle sickle cell disease – an inherited blood disorder that can damage a patient’s vital organs and cause chronic pain.

“It’s daunting. It’s a waiting game,” Tut Palmer, Ayden’s mother, said. “I always tell my husband, it’s impossible finding a match right now.”

Looking at Ayden, it’s hard to believe this high-energy, bright-eyed boy had brain surgery in December to improve blood flow. He also had a stroke at 3 years old that paralysed the left side of his body.

“He’s known nothing but pain, and he’s immune to pain. That’s what I see,” his mother said.

Doctors say sickle cell is most common among African. Yet, the likelihood of finding a bone marrow match is only 23 percent, compared to 77 percent among Caucasians, because there are far fewer African Americans on the registry.

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ACLT are supporting Ayden’s appeal and our encouraging those of African origin living here in the UK to sign up to the donor registers to help with the worldwide search of finding young Ayden a lifesaving match. Click here to find out how.