Six-year-old Leland is very active and mad about football. His favourite team is Newcastle United and his favourite player is midfielder Bruno. He also plays in the under-7s team for local club Gateshead Redheugh.
At the start of the year, Leland developed a cough that wouldn’t go away. His GP suggested some blood tests which showed that Leland’s white blood cells were not as they should be. After months of visits to the haematology department at Sunderland Royal Hospital, he was referred to the Royal Victoria Infirmary where he had a bone marrow biopsy.
On 8 September 2022, Leland was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and was advised that he needs a bone marrow transplant before the end of the year.
No one in the family is a match; Leland now needs to rely on a stranger to help him.
While a search for Leland’s perfect match is ongoing, he has had to put his life on hold. Although he is able to play with his friends, he is limited in what he is able to do, as he is more susceptible to getting ill.
Leland’s mum Sarah is gutted that she is not a match for Leland. She is urging people to join the stem cell register. She said, "It is extremely important to register as it provides the opportunity for a young person, like Leland, to have the quality of life they always hoped for".
If you are between 17-55 and in general good health, you could register to help Leland or someone in a similar situation.