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Courtney, 4, is set to give her big brother Scott the gift of life.

Byline: Craig Thompson Health Reporter craig.thompson01@trinitymirror.com

SCHOOLBOY Scott Anderson gives a big hug to the young girl set to save his life - his little sister.

Scott, aged six, suffers from a rare disorder which affects just 30 children in the UK and has left him urgently in need of a transplant.

After the youngster's family underwent tests, Scott's fouryear-old sister, Courtney, proved the perfect match.

Proud mum Sarah Anderson, 26, said: "Courtney knows she has to go into hospital to save her big brother's life. She would do anything for him."

In just a few weeks time, the pair will go into the Great North Children's Hospital at the Royal Victoria Infirmary where they will undergo the transplant procedure that will change Scott's life.

Sarah, of Shieldfield, Newcastle, said: "Everything has happened so quickly, I'm still in a state of shock." Sarah and her husband, also called Scott, 28, had just got married on Saturday May 23 this year. But after returning from a few days away, the couple noticed their son had a lot of bruises on his little body, as well as a rash.

Fearing he could be suffering from meningitis, the couple rushed Scott to the RVI, where tests revealed the Hotspur Primary School pupil had a very low platelet count. An immediate bone marrow biopsy was then carried out before doctors broke the devastating news to Sarah and her husband.

"They told us he was suffering from severe aplastic anaemia," said Sarah, "a rare disorder where the bone marrow fails to make enough blood cells.

"Essentially, his bone marrow had stopped working and he was susceptible to all types of infections." Infections that could prove fatal, if action was not immediately taken.

The Anderson family all agreed to be tested to see if they would be suitable donors and results showed Courtney as a match.

"It all hasn't sunk in quite yet," said Sarah. "We have talked to them about it. Scott knows his little sister is helping to save his life." The schoolboy and his sister, a reception pupil, also at Hotspur Primary School, will go into hospital at the beginning of August. Scott will spend his seventh birthday, on August 10, there, as will Courtney, who turns five on August 13.

Scott will then face between six and eight weeks in isolation to make sure his body accepts the bone marrow and to keep him free from infections.

Sarah said: "He's such a loving, energetic little boy.

"This is such a big thing for both our children but it's wonderful to know they are helping each other.

"The last few weeks feel like a blur, I haven't even had a chance to think that I've just actually got married."

HOW TO BECOME A DONOR Become A Donor is a Chronicle campaign to urge readers to sign up to the NHS Organ Donor Register.

We are aiming to get 10,000 to sign up to the NHS Organ Donor Register and to discuss their wishes with loved ones.

The campaign has been launched to coincide with the countdown to the Westfield Health British Transplant Games 2015 which will be held in Newcastle and Gateshead between Thursday, July 30 and Sunday, August 2. To join the NHS Organ Donor Register and help save lives, text SAVE to | 62323, call 0300 123 2323 or visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk Or sign up to the separate Anthony Nolan register, the UK's largest bone |marrow register. If you are aged 16-30 and in good health, you can sign up to donate bone marrow by joining the Anthony Nolan register at www.anthonynolan.org What is aplastic anaemia? This is a rare disorder in which the bone marrow fails to make enough blood cells.

The condition can be acquired, meaning that the condition has developed during the patient's life, or inherited.

Aplastic anaemia is not a form of cancer but may be associated with certain cancers, especially those affecting the bone marrow, such as leukaemia.

A small number of patients with aplastic anaemia may develop leukaemia. Because of the lack of cells within the blood, these are replaced by fat cells. Any remaining cells look more or less normal in contrast to other blood cancers.

There are approximately 125 cases diagnosed every year and, of this number, 30 cases are children.

Patients may have symptoms of anaemia such as paleness, fatigue, shortness of breath, excessive bleeding and a tendency to bruise easily.

CAPTION(S):

Above, Scott and Courtney Anderson and, left, with their mum Sarah PICTURES: PAUL NORRIS
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jul 8, 2015
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