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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 December, 2004, 12:35 GMT
Father's donor joy for ill sons
Hartley family
The boys are four of only 100 people diagnosed with XLP
The father of four brothers with one of the world's rarest fatal illnesses says he is full of hope now all of his sons have bone marrow transplant donors.

Joshua, 12, Nathan, 10, Daniel, eight, and Luke Hartley, four, suffer from X-linked lymphoproliferative disease (XLP), which attacks the immune system.

Daniel and Josh, of Romsey, Hampshire, have already had successful transplants giving the boys normal life expectancy.

Their parents David and Allison Hartley set up a campaign for potential donors.

'Highs and lows'

Thousands of people from across the region responded to a major campaign set up by the couple with the Anthony Nolan Trust.

Josh was successfully treated with a bone-marrow transplant from his mother Allison Hartley in the summer.

Mr Hartley, 41, who hopes Nathan and Luke will have successfully completed their transplants by this time next year, said: " It has been a year of great hope for us.

"When we came into the year we had four boys with a potentially terminal illness but the year couldn't have gone better for us, having found the four matches.

"There have been fantastic times - getting the matches, Joshua coming home - and there have been real lows as well, particularly when Josh got quite ill during his transplant.

"We are in a much better place at the end of 2004 than at the start."

Being apart this year will be a relatively small sacrifice and we will go into the New Year with the hope that by this time next year we will be through all the transplants


David Hartley

With Daniel still recovering from his life saving operation at Great Ormond Street, the Hartley's will have to be separated on Christmas Day.

Mr Hartley will spend the day with Daniel in hospital while his wife will be with the other three boys at home.

He added: "There's a chance they might be able to come up to London to see Daniel, which would be great for them."

A Christian family, the Hartleys are members of the New Life Church in Romsey. Mr Hartley added: "Christmas is a very important day for us.

"It will also be very important for us this year as we now know it is one of many Christmases that we can be together.

"So being apart this year will be a relatively small sacrifice and we will go into the New Year knowing that there are these mystery donors out there and with the hope that by this time next year we will be through all the transplants."

A date has not yet been set for when Nathan and Luke will undergo surgery in 2005.


The Anthony Nolan Trust is still appealing for more donors aged between 18 and 40, particularly young males. For information on donating call 0901 882 2234 or visit the charity's website at www.anthonynolan.org.uk.



SEE ALSO:
Donor success for second brother
30 Nov 04 |  Hampshire
Family renews appeal for donors
22 Nov 04 |  Health
Second brother set for transplant
22 Sep 04 |  Hampshire
Bone marrow boy back with family
23 Aug 04 |  Hampshire
Brothers find life-saving donors
12 Jul 04 |  Hampshire/Dorset
Mother donates bone marrow to son
09 Jun 04 |  Hampshire/Dorset
Hartley boy ready for transplant
27 May 04 |  Hampshire/Dorset
Mother's transplant may save child
20 May 04 |  Hampshire/Dorset


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