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'Designer Baby' Cures Sick Older Brother

by VR Sreeraman on  May 8, 2011 at 2:42 PM Genetics & Stem Cells News   - G J E 4
A 12-year-old boy in Britain who was born with a rare condition has been cured of it after his "designer baby" brother gave him the gift of life.

Charlie Whitaker was born with Diamond Blackfan Anaemia (DBA) a condition that prevented his body from making red blood cells.
 'Designer Baby' Cures Sick Older Brother
'Designer Baby' Cures Sick Older Brother
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He also endured painful daily injections for eight hours at a time to keep his blood healthy.

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But now, Charlie has been given the all clear by doctors and can now live a normal, healthy life, his parents, Jayson and Michelle, disclosed on Friday, reports the Telegraph.

He was saved by stem cells transplanted from the umbilical cord of his brother Jamie, who was born by IVF specifically to provide a tissue match.

In a case, which prompted fierce debate, the Whitakers had to go to the United States for the procedure, which was banned at the time in Britain.

His mum Michelle, 38, said: "People would use the term 'designer' or 'harvest baby' to talk about Jamie, to make it sound like he was born for spare parts, but that is completely wrong. I really like the term saviour sibling because that is what he is.

"Charlie is now completely healthy, I know his little brother saved him and he knows that too, which is wonderful.

"What Jamie did for his brother is extra special. I am so proud of both of them and I would do it all over again," she added.

Source: ANI
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