Superheroes come in all shape, sizes, and even ages, as one 4-year-old proved recently. Super Michael DeMasi, Jr. was on the job when his younger siblings needed his help — in the form of his bone marrow. Michael’s brothers, Santino and Giovanni, were born last October with Chronic Granulomatous Disease (CGD), which is an immune disease which causes their immune system to not work properly, reports MSN. Even the common cold could have become deadly. But that’s all changed now.
Robin Pownall and her fiance, Michael DeMasi, have gone through this ordeal once before. Their older son, Dominick, was also born with CGD years earlier. At the time, he was put on a transplant list and remarkably, after he was given a donation of stem cells, he is now considered cured at the age of 9-years-old. But between the Dominick and the twins, there’s Michael, who is free of the disease, and when tested, became a perfect match for the two.
Though his parents were excited about their son being a match for the twins, they wrestled with how to talk to him about performing this heroic act.
“We were straight up — ‘It’s going to be a big needle going into your back, bud,’ ” Robin Pownall says. “We asked him, ‘Do you want to do this? If you’re scared, you don’t have to.'”
Like the champ that he is, he agreed saying that he wanted to “help save my baby brothers.”
Still, this wasn’t an easy decision to make.
Today, 4-year-old Michael DeMasi Jr. of South Philly donates his bone marrow to save his twin 4-month-old brothers at @ChildrensPhila. Please think of these boys and send good vibes out into the universe for them today. https://t.co/DRTJMv9OEo
— Stephanie Farr (@FarFarrAway) March 8, 2018
“Part of me was like, ‘Well, he’s four. Maybe he doesn’t know what’s going on.’ But he did, and he was all for it,” says Pownall, who told her son that he would become a real-life superhero. The doctors also sat down and talked with the boy as well to make sure that he was fully aware of what he was about to experience.
On March 8, Michael went in for the procedure in the morning and hours later was playing as if nothing had happened, says his mom. His brothers received the bone marrow cells later that afternoon and were released from the hospital last week to which Michael told them, “I saved you guys. It’s time to go home.”