Group rallies to help Saskatoon child boy needing bone marrow transplant

A GoFundMe page is aiming to raise money to support a Saskatoon six-month-old baby boy who was born without an immune system and in need of a full bone marrow transplant.

Jax’s parents, Noe and Claudia Piche and their daughter Mia have uprooted their lives to temporarily move to Calgary so their son can get the treatments he needs.

Jax was diagnosed with Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID) and is highly susceptible to all types of illnesses and infections since he has no natural defense.

“Lots of things that our body takes care of naturally for us everyday. It has become a little bit more of an issue for him, to the point where it’s life threatening if he does get sick enough,” Noe told CTV News.

The family is staying in Calgary for a minimum of six to seven months while Jax receives treatment at a hospital since bone marrow transplants for children aren’t available in Saskatchewan.

While making sure Jax gets the treatments he needs and also taking care of their daughter, the family is still paying for their mortgage and other payments in Saskatoon.

Due to Jax’s condition, he’s only allowed outside of the hospital if the family has a private place to stay.

“We can’t stay in a Ronald McDonald House or anything like that, communal living, so we’ve had to rent a place and Calgary has a crazy housing market at the moment,” Claudia said.

Tarryn Sutherland started the GoFundMe which has a goal to raise $65,000. So far, the page has raised more than $17,0000. Any extra money that comes to the family will be donated to Saskatchewan Telemiracle.

“My wife and I are very lucky with family and friends and everything else and I know there are gonna be people going through the exact same thing without support,” Noe said.

The only treatment for SCID is a bone marrow transplant. His father Noe will be donating but is only a half match. The doctors aren’t willing to wait for a full donor because there’s too much at risk with some infections already in Jax’s body.

Dr. Matthew Seftel, medical director of stem cells with Canadian Blood Services says it is ideal to find a donor within a few weeks. However, there are less stem cell donors in Canada in comparison to blood donors.

“What is special about donating stem cells is that with a single donation you are able to play a role in allowing a patient with a life threatening disease to be cured,” Seftel told CTV News.

There are a little bit under half a million people on the donor registry across Canada and while it sounds like a big number, there are still patients who cannot find a good match, according to Seftel.

Once Jax is able to get a full bone marrow transplant, he’ll be able to live in the hospital and stay at his family’s temporary home in Calgary as they will need to go to regular doctor appointments before coming home to Saskatoon.

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