Mylz Anderson-Finney, a 19-month-old boy from Lewes, is in dire need of a bone marrow transplant to save his life.
In February, the playful toddler was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the most common type of cancer in children, and he now needs the public’s help to find his perfect donor match.
Mylz’s diagnosis occurred following his first birthday, when an ear infection resulted in a hospital visit. Despite receiving chemotherapy treatments at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, the cancer has been resistant and his doctors say he will need a bone marrow transplant and CAR T-cell therapy in order to survive.
Mylz’s family members, none of whom is a match, say he’s a friendly child who loves sharks and watching videos about dogs. Despite his devastating illness, he likes to blow bubbles and play hot potato with his older sisters Remy and Hope. “During this Journey, Mylz has smiled even through the most challenging times,” said his mother Morgan Anderson. “Please help us save our sweet boy so we can continue to see him smile and grow.”
While most children with ALL can be cured of the disease, Mylz’s case is complicated by a genetic mutation and his mixed-race identity: his mom is white and his dad is African-American. Mylz’s best chance of finding a match is with someone of similarly mixed ancestry. However, because Black and multiracial people are underrepresented in the worldwide registry, his chance of finding a match is only 25 percent.
The Gift of Life Marrow Registry has mounted an urgent campaign, calling on those who are 18 to 35 and in good health to join the registry as soon as possible. Those of biracial background are especially encouraged to participate through a few easy steps:
Order a swab kit: To join the registry, order a swab kit at giftoflife.org/match4mylz.
Hold a donor drive: To help organize a donor recruitment drive, contact Traci Ackerman, Gift of Life recruitment manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Share Mylz’s story: Visit the web page for Mylz’s donor recruitment campaign and click Share This Donor Circle to spread the word, using #Match4Mylz to tag the posts.
“Donating stem cells is similar to donating blood platelets – it only takes a few hours and they replenish on their own in a few weeks,” said Marti Freund, Gift of Life director of organizational advancement. “We urge people of diverse ethnic backgrounds to join the registry to help save Mylz or another patient battling blood cancer.”