Four-Year-Old Oil City Boy Needs Bone Marrow Transplant To Beat Rare Disease

| January 31, 2020

OIL CITY, Pa. (EYT) – Like most boys his age, four-year-old Landon is very active. He loves trucks, tractors, cars, and trains. Unlike the other children, Landon could die from an ear infection or cold.

The Oil City resident suffers from Chronic Granulomatous Disease (CGD), an inherited primary immunodeficiency disease that increases the body’s susceptibility to infections caused by certain bacteria and fungi.

The only way to cure CGD (masses of immune cells that form at sites of infection or inflammation) is through a bone marrow transplant.

Of Landon’s five siblings, four of them have CGD. Two of his brothers have died from the disease – one was five years old, the other two-and-a-half.

A bone marrow transplant is scheduled in February, Landon’s guardian Kellie Braden told exploreClarion.com.

Landon takes daily antibiotics and antifungal medicine.

Landon doesn’t like the way his medicine tastes, and he is anxious to have the procedure, so he can quit taking his “yucky” medicine, according to Kelly.

Without the bone marrow transplant, Landon will likely only live into his early 20’s because the tumors and inflammation caused by the disease will eventually overtake his body.

“He seems like a perfectly normal, healthy child,” Kelly explained. “I did have him registered in Head Start for school, but I had to pull him out because of the flu and kids getting sick.”

Before Landon has his transplant, he must go through two weeks of chemotherapy. He was supposed to be doing that now, but the operation was put on hold when Landon became sick. A gastrointestinal doctor needs to certify that Landon doesn’t have a virus in his intestines.

Doctors have told Kelly that after Landon has the bone marrow transplant, there is a 90% chance that he will be able to live a healthier life.

There is a critical two-week period following the transplant during which the new bone marrow will grow in Landon’s body. During that time, exposure to any illness will kill him. It was during this critical period that Landon’s two-and-a-half-year-old brother died after getting pneumonia following his transplant.

Once he gets through that two-week critical period, he will be on transplant medication for nine months. After that, he will be closely monitored for the rest of the year to be sure his body doesn’t reject the transplant.

“Once that’s all done, he’s a perfectly normal, healthy child with a new immune system,” Kelly explained. “He can then fight off colds, just like any other child is able to do.”

Still, the road to this potential happy ending is long.

The procedure will be done in Pittsburgh, and Landon will need to stay in the hospital for two months. When he’s released, he will stay at the nearby Ronald McDonald house for another two months because he will need to see doctors at the hospital several times per week.

Kelly said that her husband, William, will travel back and forth during that time to visit Landon, and she will stay in Pittsburgh with the boy.

Although insurance will cover most of the expected $300,000.00 cost of the operation, there are co-pays and travel expenses. Even staying at the Ronald McDonald house comes with a $20.00 per day charge.

A Go-Fund-Me page to help the Bradens with expenses can be found here.

Kelly and her husband are in the process of adopting Landon who is the son of Kelly’s nephew.

When the entire process is over, Kelly said that Landon wants to go on a cruise.

“We actually took him on a cruise with us last year,” Kelly said. “We went to San Juan, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic. Landon got to swim with the dolphins.”

Landon piped up at this point, “I want to swim with the dolphins again!”


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Category: Community, Local News