Community rallies behind boy fighting rare blood disease

Multnomah County

A fundraising is being held to help with medical costs

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A young boy from Sandy is fighting for his life after being diagnosed with a rare blood disease.

“We went from a typical Monday where I went to work and he went to school followed by soccer practice to the following day ending up in the ER,” mom Brenda Walker said.

Brenda Walker’s son, Wyatt Ottaway, needs a bone marrow transplant after being diagnosed with aplastic anemia. (KOIN)

Walker said her 11-year-old son Wyatt’s symptoms started with a rash on his ankle.

“He had black bruises on his legs, and brown bruises, massive ones all over, and I said ‘What happened, where did these come from?’ and he said ‘I don’t know,'” Walker said.

At the hospital, his mouth bled and tests showed he had no platelets.

He was diagnosed with aplastic anemia, which means his body doesn’t produce enough new blood cells. It causes fatigue and a higher risk of infections and uncontrolled bleeding.

More about aplastic anemia

“His body is not producing white blood cells, which are your immune fighting cells,” Walker said.

Wyatt is a normal kid — he likes to play video games, sports and eat food. Sometimes he just gets tired.

“[I’m] kinda sore sometimes, and it’s just a little harder to move around and do some things,” he said.

Wyatt gets platelet transfusions a least once a week now.

“[It’s] really it’s not that bad, you’re only sore for a couple of days,” Wyatt said.

“It’s heartbreaking to see him have to go through things he shouldn’t have to,” Walker said.

Wyatt Ottaway needs a bone marrow transplant after being diagnosed with aplastic anemia. (KOIN)

Now the community is coming together to support him and raise awareness for the lifesaving treatment he and many others are waiting for.

“A bone marrow transplant will save his life and allow a whole new immune system,” Walker said.

On July 21, there’s a fundraiser at Bandits Bar and Grill in Troutdale from 12-6 p.m. There will be kid’s activities, a raffle and a silent auction to raise money for Wyatt’s medical costs.

At the event, they want to raise awareness for Be the Match — a national bone marrow donor registry. People who wish to donate marrow can submit a saliva sample to be matched with someone who needs bone marrow.

“It’s just a quick saliva swab. You can get the kit from bethematch.com– it’s harmless, doesn’t hurt or anything,” Walker said. “If there’s something you can do to help somebody that would only take a few days out of your life — it’s a beautiful gift.”

A group of Gresham firefighters visited Wyatt to let him know they’re pulling for him.

Battalion Chief Jason McGowan said Wyatt goes to school near one of their stations.

“A bunch of us have kids and to see what he was going through — perfectly healthy kid a few months ago, and now fighting like he is — we just want to acknowledge that and let him know we’re behind him,” McGowan said.

Wyatt will also be the guest of honor at an upcoming Portland Timber’s game.

Wyatt the Warrior
Wyatt’s GoFundMe

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