Young brothers in bone marrow donor joy

Arran Macleod, four, left, and Euan Macleod, six have both found bone marrow donors. Picture: Cascade News/John Jeffay
Arran Macleod, four, left, and Euan Macleod, six have both found bone marrow donors. Picture: Cascade News/John Jeffay
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TWO young brothers with a rare “life-limiting” genetic illness have been handed a “gift” after bone marrow donors were found for them.

Euan and Arran Macleod had been diagnosed with a condition that means they can’t fight infections.

Parents Janet and Calum have now been told that donors have been for both Euan, six, and Arran, four.

The stem cell transplant ops are due take place in August or September at Yorkill Hospital, Glasgow.

A separate donor has been found for each boy, and both are described as 10/10 matches.

Mum Janet, from Upper Dounreay, Caithness, said: “Bone marrow donors have been found for both the boys and are excellent matches which is wonderful news.

“We’re delighted that we got donors and delighted that we got them so quickly.”

Euan and Arran have chronic granulomatous disorder (CGD) and although it is genetic there is no history of the condition on either side of the family.

It is an extremely rare condition, which affects between 250 and 280 people in the UK.

Medics have told the parents that without the op Euan’s life expectancy would be mid-teens, and Arran mid-30s.

Both boys would have 60% quality of life – because they’d have to avoid animals, crowds of people, vegetation and many other infection risks.

In June last year, Euan became seriously unwell and was airlifted to Yorkhill hospital in Glasgow in a coma. It was discovered he had an abscess on his brain. After successful emergency treatment, doctors tried to discover why the abscess had developed and they diagnosed CGD.

The condition means his white blood cells have a fault which prevents his body fighting bacterial or fungal infections properly. The only cure for the life-limiting condition is a bone marrow transplant, explained Janet, an engineering contractor at Rolls-Royce.

Arran was tested to see if he might be able to provide a bone marrow match but, sadly, he also carries the genetic disorder and needs the transplant too.

Following the devastating news, Janet, 43, and Calum, 45, launched an appeal on behalf of their sons to raise awareness of the bone marrow register and encourage people to sign up.

They also started raising money for the Anthony Nolan Trust to give something back to the charity and help other families facing a similar plight. The cost of a bone marrow transplant can be in the region of £150,000.

The operations on Euan and Arran are expected take place either in Newcastle or the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. CGD affects between 250 and 280 people in the UK.

Janet, who accompanied Arran to Yorkhill hospital this week for further tests ahead of the operation, said the family is continuing to raise awareness and money for the Anthony Nolan Trust. “We have several fundraisers in the pipeline, including, hopefully, a big charity auction,” she said.