WORCESTER, Mass. — Like many kids, 5-year-old Bryce Linton loves baseball.
“I throw it hard,” he said.
But, unlike other kids, the Auburn kindergartener has a super-rare condition, one in a million, called Hyper-IgM. Essentially, he doesn’t have an immune system, so he can’t fight viruses or bacterial infections.
“I do have to stick him with three different needles, and it takes somewhere, depending on the day, three to five hours to do,” said his mother, Julie Creedon-Linton.
Bryce can’t drink certain water, can’t swim in ponds, lakes or pools and he can’t be around farm animals because there’s a parasite that could attack his liver and kill him. The life expectancy for someone with Bryce’s condition is only in their 20s, so he is in desperate need of a life-saving bone marrow transplant.
No one in his family is a match, so the Linton’s are working with Be The Match, a national bone marrow registry program, in hopes of finding Bryce’s genetic twin to give him a new lease on life.
“There are 22 million people on the registry and there’s not a single match for Bryce,” Creedon-Linton said.
To get people on the registry and help find a potential match, the Worcester Bravehearts, a summer college team that Bryce’s parents own, will wear neon “Friday Night Brights” jerseys every Friday night home game to raise awareness for the non-profit organization.
“What we’re trying to do is find some stranger out there who isn’t on the registry yet who can potentially be our life-saving option,” Creedon-Linton said.
The game scheduled for Friday, May 28 has been rained out and will be rescheduled for Friday, June 11.
Anyone in good health, ages 18-44 years old, can sign up to join the registry by texting ‘BrothersforBryce’ to 61474 (not case sensitive) or by visiting https://join.bethematch.org/brothersforbryce and Be The Match will mail a cheek swab kit to your home. Be The Match covers the entire cost of the transplant for the donor, plus flights, hotels and meals. They also cover any costs not covered by insurance for the recipient.
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