Hello, my name is Mateo (Mathew) and I’m 2 months old. My name might not mean much to you but my story is the story of many children. And we all need help.
A few days ago the doctors told my parents that I suffered from a rare kind of leukemia. One thing I’ve noticed is that everybody gets scared when they hear this word.
I really don’t know much about medicine yet, but it looks like my cells have a problem and I’ll have to stay at the hospital having tests done until doctors find a donor: in Spain or elsewhere.
I’ve been told that a donor is a person who takes a simple blood test. With a few blood drops, doctors can search a global database to see if a donor’s cells match mine. If they do, they can call him and he or she can share some with me.
My older brother, Lucas, is 2 years old and he’s very brave. He wanted to be my donor and he took the blood test but his cells don’t match mine. My mother says this happens because we’re both very special and unique. And that’s why I need to find someone around the world as unique and special as I am to help me.
I thought this was going to be really easy, all it takes, after all, is a simple prick of a needle, the same as any simple blood test. It’s really only a tiny sting, over in less than a minute. Believe me, I know what I’m talking about after all the tests I’ve taken in just my first two months of life. Even my two-year old brother was brave enough to take the test and I’m sure it won’t hurt grown-ups!
Unfortunately, it seems that what I thought was really easy might not be so easy after all.
People take blood tests and donate blood all the time, but they don’t take bone marrow tests.
I think maybe that’s because the word “transplant” scares people.
This is why my family has launched this website. We want to show everyone how easy it can be to save many kids’ lives. To tell everyone that many children, like myself, need the chance to go down the tough road of treatment and live a normal life like other kids of their age. And we can’t do that unless people take the first small step with us: by taking a blood test and registering as bone marrow donors.
We want to grow up and learn many things. Not about doctors, hospitals and all that stuff: we want to learn about life, about how it feels to go to play to the park without being scared of every little virus. We want to play with kids our age. We want to play with our cousins, friends and family.
But we need your help.
So that’s it. This is my story. My name is Mateo, but my story is the same as that of John, Peter, Mary and many, many others. Every single one of us needs a donor to keep on living.
You may not have heard any story like mine before. But I hope I’ve helped you to know what you can do. For me and for many others.
—– Translation to Danish —-