A story straight out of a Jodi Picoult novel, Shane Owen Firth of England was diagnosed with aplastic anaemia, a condition which does not allow bone marrow to produce adequate cells. It has devastated the 13-year-old's life, as he was an active football player (UK football) and an outgoing teen. He is now housebound and has been searching for a bone marrow donor.
Firth didn't know it would be his 3-year-old baby brother that would step up to the plate and save his life.
Shane is the oldest of four Firth children: Justin, 8, Jaydon, 3, and baby sister Kelsey. Justin wanted to be a donor for his older brother, and as an older child, it might make more sense to put him, rather than a toddler, through a painful procedure, but sadly he wasn't a match.
In fact, of all of the family members tested, Jaydon was the only one deemed suitable for the transplant procedure. An incredibly brave boy, Jaydon says he wants to help "make a new Shane" by giving his own bone marrow to his older brother.
I'm sure while the parents are eternally grateful for Shane's little brother, they must be worried sick about having two of their children -- one only 3 years old -- in the hospital at the same time.
Jaydon, however, sees more than one upside. Every time he goes to the hospital for tests, or anything else, he gets a toy. Currently he is favoring a new Playmobil.
Image via Sarah McD/Flickr