A record 4,855 people stood in line in the rain for hours to see if they are a stem cell match for a young boy who’s battling cancer.
Oscar Saxelby-Lee, 5, has acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. Doctors told his family that he only has three months to find a donor to help cure his cancer.
Oscar’s parents, Olivia Saxelby and Jamie Lee, launched an appeal to find a match after the diagnosis. They’re goal was to get as many people as possible to sign up to a blood stem cell donor register as part of a campaign called “Hand in Hand for Oscar”.
Undeterred by heavy showers, nearly 5,000 people stood in line outside of Oscar’s school, which hosted the special drive for prospective donors to give a swab sample and donate blood to be considered.
The charity hosting the drive, DKMS, said its previous record for a single event was 2,200 people.
Oscar’s campaign more than doubled that.
“There are no words to express our heartfelt thanks and love for the thousands of amazing people who have turned up at Pitmaston Primary School this weekend,” Pitmaston Primary School wrote on Twitter. “We have registered 4,855 stem cell donors. The volunteers were incredible.”
Oscar is currently in the care of doctors at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. He has already undergone 20 blood transfusions and four weeks of chemotherapy.
“Oscar is a fun, loving, energetic five-year-old boy who deserves to live to the full alongside the other troopers fighting such horrific diseases. Not only does he need to enjoy a normal life a child should live, he now needs someone else to save him,” his mother told The Telegraph.