A 4-year-old boy from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania named Michael Pownall is making headlines for his incredibly brave, "superhero"-like move: donating bone marrow to his 4-month-old twin brothers, Santino and Giovanni. The baby boys have a rare genetic condition called chronic granulomatous disease, which only one in 500,000 people are diagnosed with annually.
The disease increases the body's susceptibility to infections caused by certain bacteria and fungi, and in order to protect the little ones from potential pathogens, the twins have been at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia since they were born in October.
“He’s just like, 'I’m a real-life superhero.' He says, 'I’m going to save my baby brothers,'” their mother Robin Pownall told the news outlet. “He goes to the doctor when he gets the labs for the pre-testing and he says, 'Look how strong I am,' and he gives them willingly his arm to get blood work. The nurses are amazed. They’re like I cannot believe how brave he is and he really is. It gives me chills.”
Pownall admits that her son could have had a very different reaction to the intimidating process. "He could have said, 'No, Mommy, I'm too scared, and I don't want to,'" she shared. "But he’s ready to go and he’s our real-life superhero."
Pownall's sister Casey has set up a GoFundMe page, explaining, "The money we are raising for the family is going to help them get through this awful time (months in the hospital) & hopefully help them get back on their feet and into a home of their own. They were in the process of looking to move but had some setbacks once the children were diagnosed. They are staying with family right now but need to be in their own place to bring the babies home after transplant. They also only have one vehicle which Michael uses to work so my sister will also need a minivan to get to and from all of their hospital visits & the post transplant visits that will last at least a year. We will also be using the money to help get bracelets made & throw a possible event."
So far, they are about 50% of the way to their $50,000 goal. "If you can, please share & kindly donate even just $5," Casey wrote. "If we all help out to reach our goal ... they can finally be a family and live a normal life."