Sad truth behind crazy queue
ALMOST 5,000 people queued for hours in the rain to get tested to see if they were a match to help save the life of a five-year-old boy fighting a rare cancer.
The potential donors volunteered to help brave Oscar Saxelby-Lee following a desperate plea from his parents.
The youngster is in a race against time to find a lifesaving stem cell donor after he was diagnosed with rare cancer.
Oscar was diagnosed with the aggressive form of leukaemia after bruising turned out to be cancer on December 28 last year, The Sun reports.
RACE AGAINST TIME
Doctors say he now has just three months to find a stem-cell match that could save his life.
More than 4,800 donors queued up to get tested at the youngster's primary school, in Worcester, UK over the weekend.
Family friend Lin Forward said that Oscar's mum Olivia Saxelby has been "amazing" while enduring "every parent's worst nightmare".
She said: "Little Oscar is really sick at the moment. Normally he had been able to get to the hospital shop on a walking frame, but now he's in isolation and can't even eat.
"Libby [Olivia] has been absolutely amazing. She's been at the hospital all the time, and is really trying to keep positive.
"It's just every parent's worst nightmare."
His teacher Sarah Keating said: "I've been teaching for 20 years and I've never had a child go through something like this.
"You hear about children getting cancer and you think 'that's dreadful', then you move on. In this case we haven't moved on, we will fight this."
And his teaching assistant Laura Senter, 22, said his diagnosis came as a shock to their class.
She added: "I couldn't believe it. I saw him before Christmas and he was his usual happy-go-lucky self.
"It's a nightmare for this to happen. You can't really do anything about it, it's heartbreaking.
"If a child falls over and cuts their knee you can put a plaster on it. With something like this you can't just fix it.
"That's why we have gone into 'action mode' to try and find a donor."
His desperate parents, mum Olivia and dad Jamie Lee, launched an appeal to find a match after his diagnosis with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia last year.
They aimed to get as many people as possible to sign up to a blood stem cell donor register as part of a campaign called 'Hand in Hand for Oscar'.
Olivia, 23, said: "We felt like we could not see light at the end of the tunnel, but when looking at Oscar's cheeky smile, bravery and determination, we managed to pull our strength together again.
"Not once has he shown weakness, nor has he ceased to amaze us throughout the most difficult times and that to us is a true warrior."
DKMS, the charity that tests the swabs, said its record for the highest number of people to take part in a registration event is 2,200 people.
Volunteers were sat at tables and chairs in two of the school's halls over the weekend, handing out swabs and completing donor registration forms.
This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission