Older brother Ryan underwent the same treatment in 2012 after both boys were diagnosed with Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD), a rare, progressive, neurological and metabolic genetic disorder.
It was believed Ethan was not at immediate risk, but a recent routine MRI scan indicated otherwise.
However, speaking to The Munster Express prior to today’s flight, Caroline Caulfield McCormack said the outlook for her son was positive. “We’ve caught it early,” she said.
“We’re hoping we can get there and start the process and get him the bone marrow transplant before there’s any damage.
He has a family donor so we don’t have to go searching for a donor which is great.”
Ethan will undergo chemotherapy and receive the bone marrow transplant in the same hospital that Ryan underwent treatment – the University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital. “It will be the same hospital, same staff, same doctors,” Caroline explained.
“They all requested that they look after Ethan and we requested the same team also. “The only difference is that they are looking into changing the chemo which was used for Ryan.
The medicine used for Ryan gave some post treatment infections, so they’re working on a new one which will hopefully be ready for Ethan.
That will possibly prevent some of the sickness and infections Ryan endured.
” Ryan and Ethan’s story captured the hearts of people across Waterford and throughout the country in 2012, with thousands of euro donated to the ‘Save Ryan and Ethan Appeal’.
Their condition affects the nervous system and adrenal glands, and was featured in the 1992 film ‘Lorenzo’s Oil’.