Boy who needed $450 million for cancer fight dies

January 25, 2021
Andre Arnett has sadly died.
Andre Arnett has sadly died.

For approximately nine months, five-year-old Andre Arnett put up a strong fight against cancer; but on January 20, the youngster took his last breath at the Bustamante Hospital for Children. His mother, Ofalia Wilson, confirmed the devastating news while thanking everyone for their emotional and monetary support.

"I was at his side when he died. I want to thank everyone for their support and donations. My son put up a fierce fight until the end. I am really grateful for all your kindness and support," she said.

Rare cancer

Arnett, who lived in Kitson Town, St Catherine, was last year diagnosed with a rare cancer called Burkitt lymphoma. This is a form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in which cancer starts in the immune cells called B-cells. Recognised as a fast growing human tumor, Burkitt lymphoma is associated with impaired immunity and is rapidly fatal, if left untreated.

The youngster's story was first featured in THE STAR on January 15, in an article that bore the headline: 'Five-year-old needs Bone Marrow Transplant'. At the time, Wilson was seeking to raise US$3.1 million (approximately J$450 million) for her son to receive treatment at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

A GoFundMe account that was set up for Arnett has raised US$3,406 (approximately J$494,803), just above a third of the US$10,000 (approximately J$1.4 million) target.

Wilson said the funds that have been donated will go towards funeral and other expenses.

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