9 years old and cancer-free thanks to life-saving umbilical cord stem cell transplant
February 11, 2019
Jenson has lived half his young life with cancer. Diagnosed with lymphoma aged 4 and then with leukaemia aged 7, it’s impossible to imagine how the Wright family must feel reading today’s news that their son is cancer-free.
Just 6 weeks after completing 3 years of chemotherapy in October 2016, Jenson’s family learnt that cancer had returned to the 7-year-old’s body in the form of Acute Myeloid Leukaemia. This adult blood cancer is rarely found in children and, as Jenson’s family wrote on Jenson’s GoFundMe page, “his chance of cure is not as high as last time and without a stem cell transplant his chance of survival is slim.”
“All we want is Jenson to have a normal childhood. Not one filled with hospitals, tests and chemotherapy.”
In 2017, Jenson’s local paper, the Warrington Guardian reported that the Penketh South Primary pupil Jenson Wright was in remission after undergoing a pioneering stem cell transplant using an umbilical cord from a donor in Texas.
His mum, Carolyn told the paper, “It was amazing because that was really the only chance he had – we would have been in turmoil if it hadn’t worked. The fight isn’t over yet. The longer he is in remission, the better it is, there are still a lot of challenges we will face.”
Fundraisers took place across the town in December to support Jenson, with a Christmas jumper day in his honour.
The cast of I’m a Celebrity also sent their best wishes and Jenson was thrilled to be visited by his favourite footballers Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford on the day of his transplant.
How a cord blood transplant works
The procedure involved 21mls of blood being infused into Jenson’s system and Carolyn said: “He has had some side effects – effectively he now has two DNAs and is even a different blood group after the transplant.
“We are really proud, he’s an inspiration. So many people have said to us that he inspires them too. He is so completely determined, most things haven’t fazed him and he’s still cheerful.”
“I don’t know why it’s not an automatic sign up for new mums to donate stem cells from the umbilical cord.”
“We owe his life to another mother across the other side of the world and we are so grateful.”
The road to cancer recovery
Jenson’s stem cell transplant was a great success, the cells began to kill the disease in just five days and, two years on, and Jenson is now fully recovered.