Lad, 7, with rare genetic condition in desperate search for donor

A boy whose rare genetic disorder means he has never been to school is hunting for a stranger to save his life.

Seven-year-old Freddy Leitch rarely leaves his own home except to attend hospital appointments as he could pick up a deadly infection.

Doctors say he needs a stem cell transplant to be able to live normal life, but none of his family was a suitable match when tested.

Freddy’s desperate relatives are now on the hunt for a perfect stranger to save their boy – something they say is like searching for a “needle in a haystack”.

Mum Kirsty, said: “Freddy amazes me every single day. He has been through so much and has spent a lot of time in hospital, but he copes like a trooper.”

Freddy, inset, of Gillingham, Kent, was found at two weeks old to have Chronic Granulo-matous Disorder, which affects just eight in every million people.

It leaves the brave lad highly vulnerable to life-threatening bacterial and fungal infections.

He has never been allowed even to go to school because it is thought to be simply too risky.

Kirsty added: “If a stem cell
donor could be found for Freddy, it would give us hope that we aren’t going to lose him.”

Freddy’s uncles Neil and Harry Leitch tested separately in the hope of saving their nephew, but were not a match.

The family have now teamed up with the Anthony Nolan charity in the desperate hope they can find someone in time.

Harry, 25, said: “I just want all the young lads out there to know that joining the Anthony Nolan register will make such a big difference.

“You may not come up as a match but, to families like ours, it would mean the world.”

The charity’s Terence Lovellsaid: ‘To be told, twice, that there is no matching stem cell donor for Freddy must have been devastating for Kirsty to hear.

“If you’re aged 16-30 you can give hope to families like Freddy’s by visiting anthonynolan.org/match4freddy.”

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