American Boy Meets Transatlantic Bone Marrow Donor
Jake Larkin, from San Francisco is eight years old. When he was six he was diagnosed with severe aplastic anaemia, a rare condition in which the bone marrow does not make enough blood cells. He was treated in California with immune suppression treatment but it did not work.
Jane Theobald, a teacher at Welland Park Academy in Market Harborough, England, was the only matching donor for Jake on any of the world's bone marrow donor registers. Jane, 59, had been on the Anthony Nolan register in the 1970s when Shirley Nolan was looking for a donor for her son, Anthony, but this was the first time she had been
Following a donation, the patient and donor have to remain anonymous for two years and Jane received an anonymous letter from Jake's parents thanking her for her donation.
It read: "Your gift saved the life of a little boy, but so much more, you saved the hearts of so many people who love that little boy. And you did save his life, as surely as if you had scooped him up off of train tracks in the shadow of a speeding train.
Jane and Jake's mother Kimberly are encouraging more potential donors to join the Anthony Nolan register in the UK (www.anthonynolan.org) and others around the world including Be the Match in the United States (www.bethematch.org).