The family of 1-year-old baby Carter is searching for a life-saving bone marrow donor this Christmas. He was diagnosed with a rare type of leukemia called AML this past September 28th and has been hospitalized for many months since. Unfortunately, that match is like “searching for a needle in a hay stack” his mom explains. So we are reaching out to this great community in hopes of finding it.
“We need a bone marrow transplant,” said mother Sarah Crouch, who was born and raised in Devine. “AML is a rare type of leukemia affecting only 20% of children diagnosed with leukemia, and an even lower percentage is considered high risk. In my son’s case Carter is high risk meaning that even after the bone marrow transplant, the leukemia has a high risk of returning. In a few cases after the bone marrow transplant they are completely free of it returning. We are hoping that’s the case for Carter.”
“The registration to see if you’re a bone marrow match is extremely simple. They ask a few health related questions, then send you a cheek swab to your home which takes about 3 minutes,” Crouch said.
The online registration takes about 10 minutes. It is a very simple process.
“The cheek swab will tell if you’re a candidate or not, and if you’re a match,” Crouch said
The organization that they use is bethematch.org.
“Once you fill out the application, they send a cheek swab in the mail and you swab your cheeks and send it back, return shipping is paid. Cheek swabs are registered into the bone marrow bank and processed over 6 weeks. The doctors check the bank once a week for any potential matches. We have a month to find a match before they start the transplant process.”
“He has had chemotherapy the first, second, third, and fifth days at the beginning of a 30 day cycle, and he has 3 cycles, and then the bone marrow transplant. He stays in the hospital for 30 days in case of fevers or anything serious. His highest fever was 104.9. He’s been really blessed through this whole process, a lot of other children have it a lot harder. We’ve been in the hospital since September 26th,” she said in an interview last week, December 10th as they finally got released to come home for a few days.
ABOUT DONATING BONE MARROW
Each patient needs a donor who is a close HLA match. This is different than blood type. Since HLA is part of your unique DNA, so finding a match is a challenge, but the more people who take the swab, the better chance little guys like baby Carter have of finding a life-saving bone marrow donor.
Be the Match notes that it doesn’t take a long time or big commitment to save a life like Carter’s.
“If you’re called to donate, the typical time commitment for the donation process is 20-30 hours spread out over a four-to- six-week period. This includes phone calls, appointments and the donation.”
ANOTHER WAY TO DONATE CORD BLOOD: People can donate bone marrow or also donate Cord Blood after having a newborn to be a potential match.
Caring for Carter and going back and forth for long hospital stays is a full time job for Sarah, and they lost daddy in a car accident a couple years ago. So this young family could use assistance financially as well. If you so wish to donate you can mail a donation to Sarah Crouch at the Ronald McDonald House or drop it off at Total Image Salon.
The family will be staying at the Ronald McDonald House as little Carter starts the next round of treatments this week.
Crouch says baby Carter may be stuck in the hospital for over 3 months until after the bone marrow transplant is complete.
If you’d like to make a donation, you can drop it off at Total Image Salon in Devine. Baby Carter’s needs always include: Diapers (size 6) and baby food, he loves toy cars and anything that makes noise, and especially Toy Story (he is missing Bullseye and the Piggy bank from his toy story toys). The family also welcomes gift cards for restaurants, DoorDash delivery, and Starbucks with open arms, as sometimes the hospital food isn’t the best, and a cup of coffee is always appreciated by mom. Another thing he needs is clothes made for a broviac line placement on the left side, which are hard to find, but we are happy to report a local seamstresses is working on this.
Monetary donations can also be made online at https://www.paypal.com/pools/c/8t31v0v46e?fbclid=IwAR2SlTtwlnintuf1XxCvrEn6Dxc8ZNPUtirpN2h8o0ZafHPDo_xqv6nQrS0 or you can drop it off to Sherrie Wilkins at Total Image Salon.
SEE IF YOU ARE CARTER’S MATCH
Please register at bethematch.org and they will send you a cheek saliva swab in the mail. It’s that easy! And return shipping is paid as well. It takes less than 10 minutes to register, 3 minutes to swab your cheek, and if you are the rare match this family is searching for, it takes only 20-30 hours (about the time of one day) to save a child like Carter’s life.
You can also contact mom Sarah Faye (Crouch) on Facebook and her page “Caring for Carter” for updates on this adorable little angel.