Brother’s bravery may give Leeds baby chance to beat cancer

Skye Sutcliffe and her family
Skye Sutcliffe and her family
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A baby fighting an incredibly rare form of leukaemia is in a Leeds hospital while doctors wait to see if her brother’s bone marrow could help cure her.

Skye Sutcliffe has two types of the cancer and her brave brother Harvey, who is just three, made the donation.

The youngster was a perfect match for his nine-month-old sister, and now their parents Amie and Damion must wait to see whether the bone marrow transplant was a success.

Mum Amie Mills, from Middleton, Leeds, said: “Harvey has been a complete, full match and the doctors are really delighted.

“He went into theatre and bounced back straightaway.”

Skye was only four months old when she became ill in January. After developing a rash, she was rushed to hospital where doctors first suspected meningitis.

But after tests, they gave her parents the devastating news that it was acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

She started treatment immediately at Leeds Children’s Hospital, however soon afterwards her parents were told Skye had a second type of leukaemia too - a combination called biphenotypic acute leukaemia.

“It’s extremely rare. At the current time there’s only one other case in the UK,” Amie, 24, said.

“It was very scary and really emotional.”

Skye was treated with steroids and chemotherapy, but doctors said a bone marrow transplant was essential.

Her parents, four-year-old brother Riley and Harvey were all tested, and Harvey was found to be a good match.

Amie said: “I was petrified because I knew what had to happen. Putting him through pain, I was not really happy about. At first I said I didn’t want the other kids to be involved.”

But doctors explained that a sibling donation would be much better than one from a stranger on the bone marrow register, which would never be a complete match.

“We didn’t really have a choice, it’s much more successful when it’s a sibling,” Amie added.

“He’s not been bothered or scared.”

The youngster recovered quickly and Skye is now in isolation in hospital while medics wait to see whether the transplant has worked, which will take between six and eight weeks.

“Skye has amazed the doctors throughout because she’s not been really poorly, other than sickness which she’s had problems with,” her mum added.

“After the first chemo, she’s always been happy. She’s not miserable, so we can’t be.”

During the wait to see whether Skye’s transplant has worked, family and friends have launched the #FingerscrossedforSkye campaign on Facebook.

They are encouraging people to post pictures of their crossed fingers, as well as fundraising for charities Candlelighters and Delete Blood Cancer, to raise awareness about the need for donated bone marrow.

Visit: to back #FingerscrossedforSkye donate via: or

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