A 15 year old boy might have saved the life of his mother

News 30 March, 2018
  • Photo courtesy, Louis Jalbert
    Marie-Edith Boileau and her husband Dominic Jalbert remain united in the hope of overcoming the disease.

    Frederique Giguere

    Friday, 30 march 2018 01:00

    Friday, 30 march 2018 01:00

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    Waiting for a stem cell donation in the last six months, the mother of a family of the Abitibi suffering from a rare form of cancer has finally received his 15-year old son, who try to save her mom was obvious.

    “It’s really emotional,” says Marie-Edith Boileau, weakened and suffering, about the courageous gesture of his eldest son.

    Photo courtesy, Louis Jalbert

    Yzak Jalbert, a 15-year-old, is photographed during his stem cell harvest. His mother is suffering from a rare form of bone cancer, very aggressive.

    Since he learned that his mother was suffering from lymphoma, anaplastic T-cell, a rare form of bone cancer, Yzak Jalbert was forced to see her weaken by the day. Six months after the diagnosis, Ms. Boileau still hadn’t found the donor as expected and his health condition was far from improving.

    To be compatible, the potential donor must be of haitian descent, like herself, or of african descent or mestizo. However, according to Héma-Québec, only 0.4% of the donors on the registry are black.

    Risk of rejection

    Aware of the urgency to act, the teenager volunteered a few weeks ago, even if his profile does not match 100 %.

    “We knew that it was risky and that there was a higher risk of rejection,” explains Dominique Jalbert, the husband of Mrs. Boileau.

    Yzak has therefore made the trip from the Abitibi to Montreal it has been almost two weeks so that it draws stem cells to the Sainte-Justine hospital. After several injections and six hours of collection, the cells were transferred to his mother, hospitalized at the McGill university health Centre (MUHC).

    The transplant went well, but Marie-Edith Boileau is far from being healed.

    “Currently, we are in the trough of the wave, it is a critical period,” said Mr. Jalbert. We are trying to keep morale high, it is the best thing we can do. “

    Long wait

    As the risk of rejection and other complications are still present, the family will have to wait another month before knowing if the gift turned out to be a success.

    What’s more, the mother of three children has received its largest dose of chemotherapy and radiation a week before his stem cell transplant. Even if she tries to stay positive, the pain and discomfort are impossible to ignore.

    It will, however, remind the public of the importance of joining the registry of stem cell donors.

    Stem cell donation in Quebec :

    • 60 000 donors registered
    • 100 people receive stem cells each year
    • A 1 in 4 chance that a member of the family is compatible
    • 3 % chance to call it a day for a gift
    • 88,1 % of Caucasians enrolled in the registry
    • 0.4% of the Blacks registered in the register

    Source : Héma-Québec

    ► To register for the bank : 1 800 565-6635, extension 5279 or hema-quebec.qc.ca