New Hope for Devan

Potential cord blood match found for boy with rare leukemia

By Pat Lawson Muse
|  Tuesday, May 18, 2010  |  Updated 3:30 PM EDT
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New Hope for Devan

NBCWashington.com

Devan Tatlow

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A potential cord blood match is exciting news and a much-needed ray of hope for 4-year-old Devan Tatlow, a little boy with leukemia in desperate need of a bone marrow transplant.

The potential match was identified and is awaiting confirmation, according to MatchDevan.com.

The news follows a weekend drive to find a match. Hundreds of people flooded Turtle Park in Northwest to take the simple screening test to determine if they could be a match.

Devan’s case is particularly tough because it’s difficult to find matches for patients of mixed race. Devan’s father is Irish and his mother is of Indian descent.

The potential cord blood match is significant. Cord blood may be especially valuable for helping cancer patients, because there’s a greater chance it can be useful in treatment than bone marrow/stem cells.

There are three additional drives planned to search for Devan’s match, and friends, family and supporters are urging others to organize drives to widen the pool of potential donors for other patients.

Right now, there are 8 million donors in the international registry, but only 3 percent are mixed-race donors. That’s why having volunteers get tested is critical for Devan and others who are waiting.

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