Levi Tracy’s family continue to hunt for stem cell match for sick teen

Amber WilkinsonThe West Australian
Levi Tracy (17) and father Mark Tracy. Levi needs a stem cell donor in his fight against cancer.
Camera IconLevi Tracy (17) and father Mark Tracy. Levi needs a stem cell donor in his fight against cancer. Credit: Simon Santi/The West Australian

A Perth family is still on the search for a stem cell match to save the life of their teenage son who’s battling leukaemia.

Levi Tracy was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma at the age of seven and after 2½ years of intense chemotherapy he went into remission.

But the treatment that worked to save Levi’s life is now the very thing causing his latest fight for survival.

The 17-year-old was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia as a result of his chemo — a type of cancer that affects the blood and bone marrow.

Stem cells can be used to treat AML if the donor’s blood profile matches Levis.

But after finding out no one in their family was a match, they took the search to the community.

Levi Tracy, now 17 and fighting cancer for the second time, as a child.
Camera IconLevi Tracy, now 17 and fighting cancer for the second time, as a child. Credit: Supplied

The West caught up with Levi’s father Mark Tracy in December when they began the hunt.

“He’s got a rare blood and tissue type, so it can feel a bit like we’re hunting a unicorn,” Mr Tracy said.

“But we know there will be a match somewhere out there and we have to find it.”

Since then Mr Tracey says Levi has had “a tough couple of weeks”.

“We found this first round of the new chemo hasn’t worked,” he said.

Levi has also developed an infection resulting in multiple surgeries.

He has been spending 16-hour days at the hospital attached to IV drips for nearly two weeks.

“It’s tough to watch as parents but nothing compared to what he’s going through.”

The Lifeline for Levi Facebook page has grown to more than 1200 followers, all hoping to find a stem cell match.

His family says they “don’t know” if they’re any closer to finding one, but remain thankful to everyone getting tested.

“We’ll keep digging,” Mr Tracy said.

The family is scheduled to have a meeting with the stem cell team next week who will notify them if any match has been found.

“Please, please, please go get tested, it’s not much different to a blood test,” Mr Tracy said.

“You could be that one person that changes a life.”

Those who aren’t a match can still donate blood and plasma — not only for Levi but for others who need it too.

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