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Hundreds line up in Milan to donate bone marrow for boy

About 500 in 2 days, 'extraordinary'

(ANSA) - Milan, October 25 - Hundreds have offered to donate bone marrow to an 18-month-old boy named Alex in desperate need.
    His parents had launched an appeal online and organized events across Italy in order to find a match.
    "I put myself in the shoes of the little boy and felt the need to take on this responsibility," said Costanza, a 22-year-old university student lined up with about one hundred others in Milan to sign up to donate bone marrow. About 500 people took part in the event held by the ADMO bone marrow donors association between Wednesday and Thursday. Regional councillor and volunteer for the association Mirko Antonioli said that the participation was "extraordinary' and that "the number of participants increased five-fold compared with the previous year." Alex, who was born in London to Italian parents, has a rare genetic disorder and needs a transplant to survive but no match has been found yet on international donor registries.
    The experimental drug keeping him alive will reportedly work for the next five weeks but could lose effectiveness after that time period.
    His father Paolo has opened a Facebook page and the parents' appeal has gone viral to find a donor, who has to be between the ages of 18 and 35, and in good health.
    Potential donors have been urged to contact a hospital or ADMO.
    Events have also been planned in Piazza Sraffa in Milan on Wednesday and Thursday, Saturday in Naples, in Piazza Trieste and Trento, and Sunday in Caserta.


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