of recovery unless toddler gets donor
TWO-YEAR-OLD Ryan Foo got lots of toys and clothes for Christmas,
but his family is hoping that someone will give the toddler a
present that money cannot buy - the chance to live.
The child has leukaemia and doctors have told his parents that
his only real chance is a bone marrow transplant.
His father, engineer Foo Say Yaw, 33, said: ''When he was first
diagnosed in August, the doctors said there was a 60-per-cent chance
chemotherapy would cure him.
''He went through the first round of chemo quite smoothly and we
But when the treatment finished a month ago, cancer cells were
found in Ryan's spinal fluid and blood. Now, the doctors say he has
only a 10-per-cent chance of recovery - unless he has that bone
Both Mr Foo and his wife, Madam Wendy Lau, 31, who stopped
working in a hotel accounts department to look after her son, cannot
give him theirs as their marrow is incompatible with his.
Siblings usually offer the best match, but Ryan is an only child.
His only hope now is a one in 20,000 chance of a suitable match in a
donor who is not related.
His family is hoping one will be found by March, so that he can
have a transplant when his latest round of chemotherapy
They have approached friends and family to register with the Bone
Marrow Registry. Mr Foo said that even if they cannot help their
son, they might be able to help someone else who needs a transplant.
About 400 new cases of leukaemia are diagnosed here every year.
Of these, about 30 to 40 new cases in children are seen at KK
Women's and Children's Hospital (KKH), according to senior
consultant paediatrician June Lou.
Chemotherapy cures about 70 per cent of affected children, she
said. The rest either relapse and require a marrow transplant or
Potential donors can register at either the National University
Hospital's Blood Donation Centre (weekdays, 9 am to 5 pm; Saturdays,
9 am to noon) or Singapore General Hospital's Haematology Centre
(weekdays only, 9 am to 4 pm).