• Kingsland boy saves sister battling leukemia with bone marrow transplant

    By: Kaitlyn Chana , Action News Jax

    Updated:

    KINGSLAND, Georgia - A little girl from Kingsland, Georgia was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia two years ago.

    Doctors at Wolfson Children’s Hospital said about 50 children every year have this aggressive form of acute myeloid leukemia. 

    Even when the odds were stacked against Claire Bordelon she taught others to have hope. 

    “I didn’t know what was happening at first. I just thought I was, like, sick,” Claire said.

    When she was in third grade, she was diagnosed with cancer; her parents, Casey and Charles, said this diagnosis has only a 20 percent survival rate.

    “It turns into one in five kids. If you line up five kids that means only one of them is going to live. They’re little kids, “ Casey emphasized. 

    This leukemia is especially difficult to treat, but children who have better cure rates receive an allogenic bone marrow transplant.

    “It was kinda sad. It was scary,” Claire said.

    A bone marrow transplant would boost her chances for survival; her parents completed the testing to see if they were a match. But they weren’t. A doctor instructed them to test their 5-year-old son, Asher, who was found to be a perfect match. 

    “His bone marrow was fine and mine was sick, so we gave some of his bone marrow to me,” Claire said.

    Asher donated his bone marrow to help rebuild Claire’s immune system. 

    Their dad said, “he knew what he was doing, he knew that he was saving his sister.”

    On Sept. 27 2016, Asher went under for the removal of a portion of his bone marrow. That day is also known as transplant day, where staff members at the hospital celebrate by administering Claire’s new bone marrow into her body by having a party. 

    Rebuilding blood cells can take a month, but Claire only needed 11 days. Asher saved his sister’s life. These two share an inseparable bond. 

    In the hospital, Claire fell in love with learning how to make slime. When Action News Jax’s reporter Kaitlyn Chana was at their house, Claire taught her the right combination to make this at-home science project.

    They also played with her stuffed animals inside her doll house until the family set up a gingerbread building party. 

    Claire believes you always have to carry hope in your heart. She is now in remission. Her doctors at Wolfson Children's Hospital feel confident that she’ll have a bright future ahead of her.
     

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