BURRILLVILLE â€“ The family of Tyler Seddon, the Pascoag boy who celebrated his seventh birthday last month with the help of thousands of police officers and firefighters, said in a new Facebook posting they have found matches for a needed bone marrow transplant to treat his leukemia.
Tylerâ€™s mother, Rachel Seddon-Dunn, said on her Facebook page Thursday that matches for a â€ścord blood treatment,â€ť had been found.
â€śThatâ€™s right troops, we have two cord blood matches for Tylerâ€™s transplant,â€ť Seddon-Dunn said in the posting. â€śCord blood is the way we are going,â€ť she said of the matches. Another potential match was not being considered because the donor declined to go through the marrow collection process that would be needed, according to Seddon.
Tylerâ€™s family said in media reports last week that they had two potential cord blood matches, but neither was 100 percent confirmed. And in another positive development, Tylerâ€™s leukemia cells have reportedly decreased from 5 percent to .03 percent.
A few weeks ago, Tyler had his 47th surgery since being diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia four years ago. During the procedure, he had his port removed, a broviac line put in, a spinal tap and bone marrow biopsy and another transfusion.
In the meantime, a GoFundMe account that was started four months ago to help with Tyler's treatment and transportation costs has exceeded its goal of $15,000. The fund is now at $18,255 and climbing.
This is Tylerâ€™s second battle with the disease. The first began on June 2, 2010, and the second began Nov. 20, 2013. During that time he has had roughly 47 surgeries and more than 200 units of blood products. He is in need of a bone marrow transplant but doesn't have a match. Meanwhile, the chemotherapy is not decreasing the amount of cancer cells in his body this time around.
Tylerâ€™s story made headlines around the world when on his seventh birthday last month he was sworn in as Burrillvilleâ€™s police chief for the day, then escorted by police to Wrightâ€™s Farm in Burrillville where he and his family were greeted by thousands of uniformed first responders who arrived via three massive convoys numbering 1,500 police cars and nearly 500 fire trucks.
At Tylerâ€™s birthday party at Wrightâ€™s Farm, 123 people signed up to become bone marrow donors. In February, over 100 people were registered at a community blood and bone marrow registration drive at the Pascoag fire station in Tylerâ€™s hometown.
Another marrow donor registration drive hosted by the Uxbridge Police Department and Rhode Island Blood Center will be held Saturday, April 12 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Uxbridge police station, 275 Douglas St.
The goal of the drive is to add new potential donors to the Be The Match Registry, which is operated by the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP).
Registration is simple, requiring only paperwork and a cheek swab. No blood is taken at registration.
You must be between the ages of 18 and 44, in good general health and willing to donate to any person you may match to join the registry.
Follow Joseph Fitzgerald on Twitter @jofitz7.