Page last updated at 07:06 GMT, Monday, 1 September 2008 08:06 UK

Donor is found for leukaemia boy

Joel Picker-Spence
Joel Picker-Spence now faces a course of intensive chemotherapy

A perfect bone marrow match has been found for a six-year-old Nottinghamshire boy with leukaemia.

Joel Picker-Spence, from Farndon, was diagnosed with the condition more than three years ago and had been in remission.

A special clinic was held last month to find him a bone marrow donor.

But doctors now face a race against time to save his life, as a blood transfusion last week revealed he had suffered a relapse.

He will now have to undergo a week of intensive chemotherapy to get him well enough for the transplant.

'Staying positive'

His family will then have to wait two weeks to find out whether Joel's life-saving transplant can go ahead.

But his mother Anne-Marie said she was staying positive.

"On Friday I went to take Joel for a normal blood transfusion to bring his count back up.

"When I got there Joel's consultant wanted to see me in a room. I thought at first the donor's not going to do it....she said, 'it's [the cancer] back'.

"It wasn't what I was expecting at all. This intense treatment will probably be the worst he's ever had.

"The donor's on the standby for us so let's get on with it and get it done and see how we go. We're all very strong."

Doctors have found a perfect bone-marrow match


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