50 strangers hailed for saving toddler in cancer battle

Finn Mackin, two. Picture: Contributed
Finn Mackin, two. Picture: Contributed
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THE parents of two-year-old Finn Mackin have praised the selfless acts of strangers who helped save their son from a rare form of leukaemia.

Mum Siobhan Rolinson and dad Stephen Mackin said they will always be grateful to all the people who donated blood and bone marrow for Finn, from Stonehaven.

The youngsters has now just been given the all-clear after a gruelling bone marrow transplant and at least 50 blood transfusions.

Finn also endured a year of cancer treatment, more than 40 general anaesthetics and months in isolation in hospitals in Aberdeen and Glasgow.

His mum is now sharing his story to encourage more people to give blood and join the bone marrow register.

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Siobhan, 30, said: “Without all these donors, Finn definitely would not have made it.

“It’s vital more people join the register to make the pool of people to choose from even bigger, because we know things could have been very different for us, if Finn didn’t have a match.”

Finn first became unwell prior to his first birthday and he was taken to a doctor who gave her antibiotics to treat a suspected an eye infection.

But when his eye failed to improve, she took him to hospital.

Scans confirmed he had a tumour behind his eye. His parents were told he had a rare form of acute myeloid leukaemia.

He underwent four months of intense chemotherapy, but just as Finn was about to go home, he developed an ear infection and one side of his faced became paralysed. Tests confirmed he had a tumour on his brain.

While he underwent more treatment his parents were warned the only way to prevent a second relapse was a bone marrow transplant.

Luckily Finn had multiple donors available to him and was able to get the perfect match.

To keep his body functioning before and after the transplant however, he needed dozens of blood transfusions of red blood cells and platelets.

Tests this month have confirmed the transplant, which went ahead at Glasgow Children’s Hospital in October last year, has been a success.

His mum has since joined the bone marrow register and donated blood.

She said: “Joining the bone marrow register is also so important and it’s not painful. You just give up a small amount of your time and it could save someone’s life.”

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Finn must be cancer free for two years before he gets the chance to meet his donor face-to-face.

Miss Rolinson said: “I’m really hoping we can contact him to say thank you so much. It will also be nice for them to know they have saved a life.”