A little 'Southern gentleman'
Just when it seemed like Lucas was beating acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the blood cancer came back. Now the toddler needed a bone marrow transplant. With the clock ticking and no donor in sight, St. Jude was able to offer a lifesaving solution.
Read an update from Lucas' family
"Mark and I are so very proud to share an update with our St. Jude supporters. It’s hard to believe, but this January will mark four years since Lucas had his lifesaving stem cell transplant at St. Jude. Four years!! And life today couldn’t be sweeter."
When little Lucas' cancer relapsed during his first six months of treatment for infant acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a rare occurrence, he needed a bone marrow transplant right away.
Lucas was only 16 months old. And his chances of finding a donor match were non-existent.
“Lucas is of mixed race,” his mom, Kate explained. “There are very few Middle Eastern donors on the registry, and even fewer mixed race — Caucasian and Middle Eastern — donors.”
His only hope was a haploidentical transplant, where a partially matched parent can be a donor, but the procedure was not yet available where the family lived in Canada.
Lucas' family was referred to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where the transplant and two rounds of chemotherapy were successful in putting his cancer into remission once again.
Lucas' brother, Dominic, was born while the family was at St. Jude — his parents call him their “Memphis Baby” (Memphis, Tenn., is where St. Jude is located).
Lucas has the manners of a Southern gentleman since his time in Memphis.
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“We're forever grateful for the cutting-edge research done at St. Jude,” said Kate. “The type of transplant that Lucas received wasn't available in Canada when we needed it. Yet one year later, it is. That's because not only is St. Jude finding new ways to beat childhood cancer, they share their findings with doctors all over the world.”
The entire family is back home in Canada now, and Lucas will return for annual checkups.
“Lucas has the manners of a Southern gentleman since his time in Memphis,” Kate said. “And he truly adores his little brother.”
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