A young boy with sickle cell anemia reached out to Robin Roberts for help finding a bone marrow donor. When he was twenty months old, Joshua Biyoyouwei had a severe stroke that left him with weakness on the left side of his little body, according to ABC.
In order to try to prevent another life-threatening stroke, Josh has been going to Children’s Medical Center Dallas every 4-6 weeks for lengthy and sometimes painful blood transfusions.
Joshua’s mother, Vera Johnson, and Josh sent a heart-warming video to Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts to ask for her help in finding a bone marrow donor. They have been searching for 4 years and have yet to find a match, which would provide a cure for his sickle cell anemia and allow him to live his life as a normal little boy.
Roberts spearheaded an effort with Be the Match to increase blood marrow donations after her struggle, inspiring more than 65,000 people to join the Be The Match Registry.
According to Josh’s doctor, Timothy McCavit, this is the best chance for him.
“These blood vessels in his brain where his stroke occurred have continued to narrow,” McCavit said. “We believe the transplant really offers him the best chance to not have a life-threatening stroke.”
The nurses at Children’s Medical Center Dallas all dote on Josh, but would rather not see him come in month after month.
“I think Joshua has a huge heart,” said Shelley Bernhard, a nurse. “You know, the things that we have to do, sometimes, are not the most fun. Starting an IV, having to sit in a chair for four hours but, I mean, he just loves it when you come in the room, loves the interaction.”
The love in Josh’s mom’s voice is heartbreaking. “Robin, many people listen to you,” Johnson said in the YouTube video to Roberts. “Have a voice for us to find a match for Joshua or kids like him.”
“Please help me find my match,” said Joshua.
Image via YouTube