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18-year-old Tsawwassen resident with leukemia to begin experimental treatment

DH Vancouver Staff Jan 05, 2015 9:09 am

A Tsawwassen teenager who has been battling a rare form of leukemia for the past two years is now on his way to Seattle to start an experimental treatment.

The family of eighteen-year-old Kyle McConkey successfully raised $250,000 on crowdfunding last month – a total of $282,124 – to cover the cost of the trip to the United States and the expensive treatment.

However, the start of the treatment on December 10 was delayed when McConkey became hospitalized from a severe infection. He was being treated at B.C. Children’s Hospital and doctors have given him only weeks to live at this stage.

Other treatments in Canada have failed. His younger brother provided him with a bone marrow transplant, but the cancer returned. A second transplant also did not work, prompting the family to reach out to the public for help.

The new treatment in Seattle takes T-cells from the white blood cells so that it can be re-engineered in a lab to aggressively fight the leukemia. After a few weeks, McConkey will return so that the re-engineered T-cells can be placed back into his body.

Last month, McConkey was a victim of scammers when they used his identity and story to raise money through a fake crowdfudning page.


Feature Image: YouCaring

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DH Vancouver Staff
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