A San Francisco family with a direct link to Big Jim Larkin have launched an appeal in Ireland to find a bone marrow donor for their gravely ill son.
Six-year-old Jake Larkin needs to find a suitable donor as he battles a rare Aplastic Anemia condition.
His Irish American parents are now praying that the family’s roots can help them source a suitable bone marrow donor in Ireland.
And they have admitted to the Irish Sun newspaper: “We’re almost out of time.”
Jake celebrated his sixth birthday at home in San Francisco last week, just months after he was diagnosed with the rare disease in February.
Jim Larkin’s great-great-grandson is ‘living on borrowed time’ according to his worried parents Kim and Bob.
They have already decided to uproot their family and move to Wisconsin to find the best possible specialist care for Jake.
And they believe Ireland now offers them their best chance of finding a donor after a trawl of the 13 million strong international donor pool failed to find a match.
Mum Kim said: “It has been a complete whirlwind. Our normal lives just stopped on February 17.
“Jake never complains but when we were walking him to school that day he said he was too tired to keep going.
“Bob brought him to the pediatrician’s after school and they sent him straight to hospital.
“Initially, they thought it was leukemia but then they diagnosed Severe Aplastic Anemia.”
The paper reports that the disease, which affects the body’s ability to produce healthy blood cells, means Jake now has to endure regular transfusions.
Kim explained: “A person can only have so many blood transfusions before their internal organs are affected, so Jake really needs a transplant.
“We have roots in Cork, Wexford and Tyrone and have turned to Ireland for help.
“The most likely donor match will be Irish or of Irish descent, and hundreds of Irish in America have come forward to be tested without luck.
All you need is a swab on the cheek.
“All it takes is one person.”