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8-Year-Old Donates Bone Marrow, Saves Older Siblings With Sickle Cell

8-Year-Old Donates Bone Marrow, Saves Older Siblings With Sickle Cell

Two of three children in the Aihe family were born with sickle cell disease, but thanks to a bone marrow donation from their youngest sibling, both are now completely cured. 

22-year-old Kingsley Aihe and his younger sister, 13-year-old Vanessa Aihe received the lifesaving gift from their 8-year-old brother, Stefan Aihe. 

Kingsley told WESH that he considered their healing a miracle. 

Sickle cell limits blood and oxygen flow throughout the body and can be painful to live with. The deadly illness can only be cured via bone marrow transplant, however the challenge for those who live with it is finding a match. Which makes a match in the same household for two people quite remarkable.  

"It's incredibly rare to have the same donor give to two different siblings. It's uncommon, but it's not impossible," the Aihe’s doctor, Dr. Shook said in an interview.  

The family hopes their story will encourage more people to become registered donors. Visit bethematch.org to learn more.

Photo credit: WESH