Another stem cell swab event is taking place on Thursday with the hopes of finding a match for an eight-year-old Edmonton boy with leukemia.
In November, Brady Mishio’s dad took him to the hospital because he thought he had the flu.
“Quickly they did some tests and then they did some more tests and X-rays and things and I knew at that point — you know, a parent realizes something is awry there,” Terry Mishio said.
That night, Brady was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, which is cancer of the blood.
“I didn’t know what the oncology unit meant, now I certainly do,” Mishio said. “Then, I think it was a nurse or someone who said, ‘They think your son has cancer’… It turned out to be true… He was diagnosed with cancer and he had leukemia.
“You’re hoping it’s not true,” Mishio said. “You’re hoping they made a mistake.”
Brady has already gone through three rounds of chemotherapy. Doctors say he needs a bone marrow transplant.
Now, the family is desperately searching for a stem cell match.
“The world needs to know that this is what we need and this can save kids’ lives,” Mishio said. “Not just Brady’s life — there’s other families in the Stollery… They’re waiting for their matches.
“It’s going to be a matter of minutes,” he said of the testing process. “Just to go in there, fill out the screen, the paper work, and then give a mouth swab and that’s it. And then you’re in the bank and you could save a life.”
A massive swabbing event is taking place on March 9 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Holy Cross Ukrainian Catholic Parish at 9003 153 Avenue.
Organizers are expecting a big turnout, including Edmonton police officers and recruits, who will be getting swabs and registered as potential stem cell donors.
“Basically, we’re looking for somebody’s genetic twin,” explained Robyn Henwood, with Canadian Blood Services.
Watch below: An Edmonton family needs your help. As Kent Morrison explains, their little boy needs to find a match for a bone marrow transplant.
“In Canada alone we have about 1,000 people at any given time looking for a match. Based on our international database, we’ll find a match for about 50 per cent of them.”
If you can’t make Thursday’s event, visit Canadian Blood Services for more information or to set up an appointment. You need to be between 17 and 35 years old to register.
“It’s a little awkward to scrub the inside of your cheeks with Q-tips,” Henwood said, “but that’s all it takes to register and potentially be the person that families are waiting for.”