(WESH) — The Aihe family is especially tight-knit, and for good reason.
The youngest of three siblings, 8-year-old Stefan, donated his bone marrow to his big brother, 22-year-old Kingsley, and his sister, 13-year-old Vanessa. The older children were born with sickle cell disease, a deadly illness that decreases blood and oxygen flow throughout the body and can be excruciating to live with.
Kingsley received Stefan’s bone marrow through a transplant last November, and is now cured.
“It’s kind of a bit of a miracle, in my opinion,” Kingsley says.
Vanessa was given a transplant from Stefan a few years earlier and is also cured.
“I feel like God did it for us, so we were blessed,” their mother says.
When the Aihe family decided to pursue the procedure, Dr. David Shook said he was stunned to learn young Stefan was a match for both his older siblings.
“It’s incredibly rare to have the same donor give to two different siblings. It’s uncommon, but it’s not impossible,” Shook says.