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Mom hopes to save 2-y-o fighting leukaemia

Omarion Maye is just two years old, but his tiny frame has been through ordeals that some adults have not survived. The toddler is currently hospitalised at the Bustamante Hospital for Children, undergoing rigorous rounds of chemotherapy to battle leukaemia. But this will not be enough to spare his life. Omarion urgently needs a bone marrow transplant.

His mother, Annitta Mitchell, is seeking the public's assistance in locating a suitable hospital overseas, and raising US$80,000 (approximately $12.2 million) that could be required for the operation and other medical expenses.

"This bone marrow transplant is very urgent because he has a testicular mass, where one of his testicles was swollen. I really don't know the [full] cost of the treatment yet, because I haven't got through to a hospital yet. I have tried a few in the US but they are full, including St Jude [Children's Research Hospital in Tennessee]. But I am just keeping my fingers crossed and trying to raise the funds in the meantime. I am asking the public for help in saving my son's life," she said.

A bone marrow transplant is a procedure that infuses healthy blood-forming stem cells into the body to replace bone marrow that's not producing enough healthy blood cells. Mitchell, a resident of Fort George in St Ann, described her son as a warrior.

"I can just say that he is a warrior. He is a brave little boy and he is playful, although chemo treatments are rough. I have seen how it has done others, but he is managing somehow," she said.

Mitchell said her pregnancy was not smooth, as she endured a lot of stomach pain throughout the entire gestation period. She said her ultrasounds were normal and she delivered Omarion via C-section in March 2021.

"He appeared normal, but at eight months I realised he had some lumps in his right leg, and when I took him to the doctor, he said it looked like leukaemia. So he told me to take him to Children's hospital [Bustamante Hospital for Children]. I was frightened and stressed, and I was just keeping my fingers crossed and praying that it wasn't leukemia; but the test results came back positive. It was the worst day of my life. That day it felt like all the muscles in my body had gone to sleep, it was horrible," she said.

Little Omarion did chemotherapy sessions in the past, but has had a relapse. His best hope of survival is the transplant. As his parents search for a medical facility overseas to accept him and try to accumulate the funds, the youngster is being given a higher dosage of chemotherapy with the hopes of preserving his life.

"The first set of treatments didn't work, so they are giving him this to see if he will hold out until the funds are raised and we find a hospital. I want to see my son grow and reach his true potential. I really don't know where this disease comes from but it is dreadful. I love my baby very much and I want him to live," Mitchell explained.