The family of eleventh-month old baby with a life-threatening illness are urgently appealing for strangers to sign up to the Antony Nolan stem cell register, and potentially save his life.
Eleventh month old Reign Miller-Hardy was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder, hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) three weeks ago. The life-threatening condition causes the immune system to attack healthy tissues and organs including the liver, brain and bone marrow. His doctors have said that his only chance of survival is if he has a stem cell transplant from a matching donor within the next two months.
Reign, who’s condition is so serious that he was transferred from University Hospital Wales to the Great North Children's Hospital in Newcastle, started a round of intense chemotherapy and was put in an induced coma to let his body rest. His parents Ashleigh and Scott are taking it in turns to be by his bedside.
Reign’s aunt Lisa explains: ‘They are searching for a donor for Reign. Up until now they haven’t found a match. He has two half-siblings so they said they will only use family as a last resort, if they can’t find a match on the register.’
Lisa and Reign’s wider family have sprung into action, desperate to do what they can to help their loved little boy. They are urging young people everywhere to consider joining the Anthony Nolan stem cell register and save the life of Reign or someone like him.
Lisa says: ‘He will be turning one in September. He’s normally a really happy, smiley, little boy. He’s cheeky. Three weeks ago we could never have imaged this would be happening.
‘A bone marrow transplant is his only hope. We’ve been given a timeframe of two weeks to two months so it’s really urgent that we find him a donor.’
Rebecca Pritchard, Director of Recruitment at Anthony Nolan says: ‘It’s impossible not to be struck by baby Reign’s vivacious personality shining out from his family photographs, and be touched by his story. At such a young age, he’s been through so much and we need to do all we can to help him find his special lifesaver.
‘Reign should have the rest of his life ahead of him, but instead he’s joined the five people a day who start their search for an unrelated donor.
‘Our call is urgent: we desperately need more donors – especially young men - to join the Anthony Nolan register to give Reign, and others like him, the best possible chance of life.’
Sign up to the Anthony Nolan register at www.anthonynolan.org/Register4Reign