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Carter, 2, goes to BC Children's Hospital for a stem cell transplant

Posted on 14/05/2011 12:00am

Aldergrove Save-on Foods staff presented the Mantta family with $1,000 Saturday morning to help with their expenses when Carter, 2, goes into B.C. Children's Hospital for a stem cell transplant.

By Kurt Langmann - Aldergrove Star
Published: May 14, 2011

The community has rallied in a spectacular way to the aid of a young Aldergrove family.

The April 14 Aldergrove Star story about the family of Carter Mantta has brought out an outpouring of help and support as the two-year-old boy faces major surgery at B.C. Children's Hospital.

Carter has a very rare genetic disorder named chronic granulomatous disease - also known by its acronym, CGD - in which immune system cells called phagocytes do not function properly.

Certain immune system cells in Carter's body are unable to kill some types of bacteria and fungi and the disorder leads to long term and recurrent infections. And while long-term antibiotic treatments may help to reduce infections, early death is typically a result of repeated lung infections.

For this reason Carter is on prophylactic antibiotics, while the family awaits stem cell transplant surgery at Children's Hospital. This is a relatively new and promising procedure for CGD, but it comes with no guarantee of success.

Carter's parents, Carl and Nathalie, are still waiting on confirmation of the date for the procedure, which will entail a lengthy stay at hospital to ward off infections as the transplant, chemo and radiation means he will have no resistance to any bugs.

Nathalie intends to spend as much of the three months or so at Carter's side while he's at Children's. However, while much of the costs are subsidized to one degree or another, those expenses do add up and the couple also have their four-year-old Brayden to look after.

On Saturday morning, the staff of Aldergrove Save-on Foods presented the family with a $1,000 contribution toward these expenses. Store manager Jim Parussini said their staff wanted to help the family and timed their appeal to coincide with their annual charity garage sale for Children's Hospital.

"We raised $3,700 at the sale (held in the store parking lot last month) of which $200 was cash donations," said Parussini. "We topped it up ourselves so we could give $3,000 to Children's and $1,000 to the Mantta family.

"It was a huge effort from everyone and we hope it helps as the Mantta family goes through this difficult journey."

"We want to give a million thanks to everyone," said Nathalie.

"We have had money donated, offers of daycare help for Brayden, gas and food certificates, clothes and toiletries. It really has made a difference."

Cash donations can be made at either the Aldergrove or Willowbrook branches of the RBC, by making a deposit to the trust account of "Carter Mantta" (there is no need to state the account number).

Carl said they are waiting for an open sore on Carter's posterior to heal as well as the "harvesting" of stem cells from the donor before the surgery is undertaken.

"As soon as that happens then in we go," said Carl, adding that the family could meet the donor in the future.

"After a year we are allowed to exchange letters with the donor and whether we meet depends on the donor's response," said Carl. "I hope we can; we'd like to meet the donor and express our thanks in person."