Raleigh 7-year-old with sickle cell anemia to receive bone marrow transplant from older brother this Christmas

DeJuan Hoggard Image
Wednesday, December 9, 2020
Raleigh boy to receive bone marrow transplant from older brother
Raleigh 7-year-old Titus lives with sickle cell anemia and will receive a life-changing bone marrow transplant from his older brother this Christmas.

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Titus Duckworth is much like any other kid his age with a love for playing outside, spending hours on video games and being rough with his brothers. The only difference is the 7-year-old has limitations that keep him from enjoying those activities to the fullest extent.

His father, Tramond, told ABC11 he is looking forward to, "Taking him out to parks and bringing him around friends and not have to ask if anybody has been sick the last 3 weeks."

Titus suffers from sickle cell anemia.

The Mayo Clinic defines sickle cell anemia as " an inherited red blood cell disorder in which there aren't enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout your body."

Tramond said Titus often experiences excruciating pain episodes; with his first one happening at just 8 months old.

"There's a very distinct difference between a baby that is crying out because he wants to eat and a baby that is crying out in pain," said Tramond.

Over the past 7 years, the Duckworth family has had to watch Titus go in and out of the hospital every 2-3 months for treatment.

"These past 7 years have been tough to be honest," said mother Fleurztael Duckworth. "He's usually in the hospital losing blood and requiring oxygen."

Titus' life will change drastically, and for the better, when he receives a bone marrow transplant from his older brother, Tyenn.

Brother's gift of bone marrow helps Durham boy get back on his feet

The family found out Tyenn as a 100 percent match for his younger brother. Such matches occur only 25 percent of the time.

"I feel good that I'm a 100% match to Titus," said Tyenn.

"They can have that bond with each other with everything they've been through," Fleurztael said.

The Duckworths had planned for Titus to be admitted to UNC Chapel Hill Hospital on Dec. 10 for chemotherapy, prior to his transplant. However, a recent positive COVID-19 test for Titus has pushed his admittance and procedure dates back.

Nonetheless, Titus is excited about his future. "Because I get to be home longer. I won't have to go to the hospital every month," said Titus. "And I get to play in the snow, do snow fights, and go in the pool longer than 15 minutes."

Tramond told ABC11 they are waiting to hear back from the hospital on the new dates.

"UNC actually calls it a re-birthday. And I think that's a great way to put it," he said. "It's going to be the beginning of something new, literally. A new life."

The family has set up a GoFundMe to help with medical expenses and recovery, which includes a home nurse and making their home accessible for Titus when he is discharged.

"Please donate to us so we can afford to pay everything we need to from cleaning our house to all the hospital payments so that my brother can have a new life," Tyenn said.

The family's "Titus and the Miracle Cure for a New Life" GoFundMe can be found here.