Emily Progin, Content Manager
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2-YEAR-OLD WILL SAVE 8-MONTH-OLD YOUNGER BROTHER’S LIFE WITH TRANSPLANT
The Shattuck Family Is Fundraising for the Lifesaving Procedure for “Team Tommy”
FRANCESTOWN, N.H.—At just eight months old, Thomas Henry Shattuck is in the fight of his life. Living with an extremely rare genetic diagnosis, Tommy needs a stem cell transplant to survive. Hope is taking an unexpected form for the Shattuck family: Tommy’s two-year-old brother, Kayden, is a match to donate stem cells to Tommy and save his younger brother’s life. The family is fundraising with the national nonprofit Help Hope Live to assist with the out-of-pocket costs associated with the transplant.
Tommy has been diagnosed with Chediak Higashi Syndrome (CHS), an extremely rare genetic condition. Currently, CHS primarily results in severe light sensitivity due to ocular albinism. But if left untreated, CHS can enter an accelerated state called hemophagocytic lymhohistiocytosis (HLH). HLH can be fatal: children like Tommy who do not receive a stem cell transplant typically do not survive to age 10.
A stem cell transplant is a significant source of hope. A successful transplant will significantly decrease the risk of HLH and prolong Tommy’s life. Tommy’s family has been awaiting a stem cell match through the Be the Math donor registry. When they tested his older brother, two-year-old Kayden, they found that Kayden was a perfect match as a potential stem cell donor for Tommy. Kayden is a biological match for Tommy and is not a carrier of CHS himself, which means the best possible chances of saving and improving Tommy’s life as his stem cell donor.
Tommy will receive chemotherapy at Dana Farber Cancer Institute (Jimmy Fund Clinic) and then receive the stem cell donation from Kayden at Boston Children’s Hospital.
Tommy’s family has multiple strong local ties, including Shattuck Paving in Milford, which is owned by Tommy’s grandfather; Kyla Shattuck Photography, owned by his aunt; Hillard Mechanical, owned by his grandfather; and Little Beginnings Schoolhouse in Hollis, owned by a family friend. They are strongly connected to local faith communities, including Saving Grace Farm, Movement Church in Merrimack, and Both One Church in Manchester and Bedford. Community support has been critical to their experiences supporting Tommy and a strong source of help and hope in their hour of need.
The Shattuck family will need to take on a significant financial burden to bring the gift of life within reach for Tommy. To help with the out-of-pocket costs associated with the stem cell transplant, they have started a fundraising campaign with the trusted national nonprofit Help Hope Live. Donations can be made at: https://helphopelive.org/campaign/22380/
You can also show your support for “Team Tommy” by purchasing shirts or sweatshirts from the Bonfire campaign at: https://www.bonfire.com/transplant-for-tommy-teamtommy/
Even after the stem cell transplant, Tommy will live with the medical challenges of CHS for a lifetime. He may experience mobility issues and neurological concerns in the future, and Tommy may even have to use a wheelchair for mobility. Funds raised will be an ongoing lifeline.
Funds raised through online donations and Bonfire sales will be administered by Help Hope Live. Unlike a GoFundMe campaign, donations to Help Hope Live are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law, and all funds raised will be managed by the nonprofit to cover only verified medical and related expenses. Help Hope Live verifies medical and financial need for every patient.
Help Hope Live is a national nonprofit that specializes in engaging communities in secure, tax-deductible fundraising campaigns for people who need a transplant or are affected by a catastrophic injury or illness. Since 1983, campaigns organized by Help Hope Live have raised over $172 million to pay patient expenses. ###Written by Emily Progin