A Yellowhead County family is hoping a volunteer donor drive they’re holding this weekend will help find a bone marrow match for their three-year-old son.
In May, Hudson Cacka was diagnosed with IPEX Syndrome, a very rare autoimmune disorder with only 150 cases worldwide. With IPEX, one of the 220+ immune genes has a mutation causing the immune system to attack healthy organs after it is finished fighting off a virus like the cold or flu.
Hudson is currently being treated with immunosuppressants to dampen the immune response, but the only cure for him is to receive a bone marrow transplant. About 25 percent of patients waiting for a transplant will find one from a family member, but 75 percent will rely on an unrelated volunteer donor.
The family, who lives outside of Edson, is holding a donor drive this weekend in Darwell in the hopes that a match can be found for Hudson. People can stop by and get swabbed by one of the volunteers and the sample will be sent to OneMatch, Canada’s stem cell and bone marrow registry.
Hudson’s mom, Louise Cacka explains the donation process and the family’s hopes for a match.
In Hudson’s case, he specifically needs a match from a male between the ages of 17 and 35.
The family and volunteers will be outside the Barnburner Music Festival in Darwell Friday, August 10th from 5 to 9 pm, and then outside the Ag Drag at the Darwell Agricultural Society from 9 am to 3 pm on Saturday, August 11th.
While chances are still small, the family is hopeful Hudson will eventually find a match, and once he does they will go to Calgary for him to receive the transplant.
For more information, the family has a Facebook Page called Hope For Hudson.