Hinton 4-Year-Old Donates Bone Marrow To Baby Brother

Tuesday, December 16th 2014, 5:59 pm
By: Karl Torp

This Christmas has very special meaning for a Hinton family trying to find the best medical care for their son.

His cure was found with brotherly love.

Earlier this year, 9-month-old Bennett Lenaburg was diagnosed with a genetic disorder called ‘Hurler Syndrome.'

Those with the disease don't have certain enzymes that can break down sugars in the body.

“It leads to a number of problems with his heart, his skeleton and mainly his brain,” said Dr. David Crawford, a Pediatric Oncologist at OU Medical.

“You always have dreams for your children and what you want them to do. Within a few months we've had to completely change our plans for him,” said Bennett's mother Kaci Lenaburg.

Beside enzyme therapy each week, the 9-month-old needed a bone marrow transplant.

Friends, family and even total strangers in the Lenaburg's hometown of Hinton signed up to donate to Bennett. None were good matches for Bennett.

“Most of the time we find unrelated donors, but we couldn't really find a good unrelated a donor for him,” said Dr. Crawford.

The one true match was Bennett's 4-year-old brother, Bryer.

“Bryer doesn't completely understand that anything is wrong with his brother. He knows he's sick and he's going to be his hero,” said Lenaburg.

“He's going to get healthy,” said 4-year-old Bryer, who refers to his little brother as ‘Benny Buddy.'

Bennett's parents said they hope Bryer will inspire more heroes to donate.

“You're potentially saving someone's life and you're saving a family,” said Leneburg.

Bennett's surgery is scheduled for January. The family will have to stay at OU Children's Hospital for about two and half months.

Doctors said Bennett may have some limitations physically, but should be able to live a normal and healthy life after surgery.