Xiaoquing Wang didn’t spend his Father’s Day like other Dads. He and his wife spent his hoping and waiting for a miracle – his second child. Xiaoqing and his wife Ning Liu spent nearly two years trying to conceive the child, going through five different rounds of in-vitro fertilization. However, this is just the beginning of why the baby the Wang family is awaiting is such a miracle.
The new baby may very well be a life-saver to his older sister. If all goes well, his cord blood will be used to prolong the life of his sister, Amy. Amy, now three, was diagnosed two years ago with a rare genetic disorder, Fanconi anemia. Few children diagnosed with this disorder ever see adulthood but the Wangs are hopeful that a bone marrow transplant from her little brother will prolong her life.
Fanconi anemia eventually causes bone marrow failure. Most Fanconi anemia children develop cancer after age 10. Amy, however, is already having problems. Her blood-platelet count has dropped consistently over the last two years. Her bone marrow is already failing.
To make matters worse, Amy suffers from abnormalities that other children with the disease do not have. In fact, her situation is so bleak that even her doctors don’t see the point in prolonging her life. Her parents, however, have seen miracles happen every moment of Amy’s life and are not about to give up now.
Amy was born with a paralyzed vocal cord and some doctors thought she would never speak. And, while her voice sounds something super-speed recording, her parents cherish every sound that comes from her tiny little throat. Every note in the “Happy Birthday” song she sings to her mother’s belly, hoping to encourage her little brother to come out and play is like music to her parents’ ears.
Braces on her feet to help her walk and a backpack on at all times to feed her, Amy constantly amazes others with her development. Her prognosis has never been good but it is clear that Amy is a fighter and, hopefully, she will continue to give her parents joy for the next several years.
Amy’s parents had tried to find a donor through the donor registries. They even visited the Children’s Hospital in Cincinnati to receive a transplant evaluation. It was here that the doctors told Amy’s parents that they didn’t know how long Amy has left. This makes every moment of her life more precious, and more pressing.
The future of Amy’s life depends on the cord blood that will come from her baby brother, but first, he must pass the screenings. They need to be sure that his blood is a match and free of any markers for Fanconi anemia. Dad will have to hand-deliver the cord blood to the University of Minnesota Medical Center himself. If everything is a go, Amy could live for at least two decades. But for now, all the Wangs can do is wait.
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