6 March 2019
Thousands of people attended a donor registration drive to see if they could be a potential lifesaver for five-year-old Oscar and others searching for their matching donor.
Little Oscar Saxelby-Lee is fighting a rare blood cancer after being diagnosed with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (T-ALL) on 28 December 2018. He has just three months to find his lifesaver and receive a blood stem cell donation to have a second chance at life.
His parents, Olivia Saxelby and Jamie Lee, launched an appeal with our help to find his lifesaving stranger.
Olivia said: “We felt like we could not see light at the end of the tunnel but, when looking at Oscar’s cheeky smile, bravery and determination, we managed to pull our strength together again.
From the moment of fear and confusion, we as a family became stronger than ever. Oscar reminded us how to fight again and how courageous he is.
Not once has he shown weakness, nor has he ceased to amaze us throughout the most difficult times, and that to us is a true warrior. Oscar is a fun, loving, energetic five-year-old boy. Not only does he need to enjoy a normal life, he now needs someone else to save him.”
Record breaking figures
An event took place at Oscar’s school, Pitmaston Primary School, on 2 and 3 March, where record breaking numbers turned up to help Oscar’s fight against cancer.
This was the largest donor drive in our six-year UK history as an incredible 4,855 people registered across the two days, breaking the previous record of 2,260 set in 2013.
The Worcester community fully supported the event and waited patiently in the rain as the 80 volunteers registered people including: the local MP Robin Walker, players from Malvern Town Football Club (who called in en-route to their match) and the local firefighters.
A huge thank you
Kate Wilcock at Pitmaston Primary School said: “There are no words to express our heartfelt thanks and love for the thousands of amazing people who turned up at the weekend. With the help of our incredible volunteers, we registered 4,855 blood stem cell donors that could be a lifesaver for Oscar and others in the same situation.”
Since the weekend we have continued to see a spike in requests for home swab kits as Oscar’s story has gained media attention in regional, national and international outlets urging people to take the first step to register as a potential blood stem cell donor.
Lisa Nugent, Head of Donor Recruitment at DKMS said: “It’s humbling to see a community come together and fully support Oscar’s search for his lifesaver. We are grateful to every single person that supported the event and to those that took the time to register with us and are now a lifesaver-in-waiting.”
How you can help
Show your support to Oscar's appeal and register as a potential blood stem cell donor at the donor drive taking place in Worcester this weekend: Saturday 9th March at 10:00 – 16:00, Worcester Guildhall, High Street, WR1 2EY
If you can't make it check your eligibility and request a home swab kit online today.
Anyone aged between 17-55 and in general good health can go on standby as a potential lifesaver. If you're not eligible or you're already registered, why not check the other ways to get involved in the fight against blood cancer or help us cover donor registration costs?