'Bubble Boy' Seth Lane Asks the Internet to Wear His Favorite Color

Five-year-old born without an immune system sparks social media campaign.

ByABC News
March 27, 2015, 8:36 AM

— -- Five-year-old Seth Lane is taking the Internet by storm today with his family's viral campaign #WearYellowForSeth.

On March 11, Seth's mom, Leanne, posted a video of her son on YouTube asking the world to don his favorite color March 27 to raise awareness of severe combined immunodeficiency disorder (SCID), which he was diagnosed with at 5 months old.

"Basically, he was born with no immune system and has no way of fighting any form of infection," she said. "The only ways those children can survive is having a bone marrow transplant. He had his first one when he was 7 months old, but it tried to fight his body and treat it like it was a virus or infection."

Lane of Northamptonshire, England, told ABC News Seth must be kept in a sterile room to protect him from germs and bacteria.

In other words, he spends most of his time in a “bubble.”

"It's before bone marrow transplants happen - that’s where the term 'bubble boy' comes from," she said. "They need to stay in a bubble to have any chance of surviving until the bone marrow transplant.

"Even the common cold could lead to death because his body cannot deal with it, but if the transplant is successful, then he can be cured."

Seth has spent most of his life in and out of hospitals. Although he started school at a normal age, most of his learning has also been inside of a ward.

But despite his health issues, Lane said Seth has been smiling throughout.

PHOTO: Seth has asked the Internet to wear yellow on March 27.
Seth has asked the Internet to wear yellow on March 27.

"He is the most loving, happy child," she said. "It sounds ironic after what we've been talking about, that I'd just say that. He deals with everything extremely well.

"When we went to the hospital, he said to me, 'I'm not going home for a long time Mummy, am I?' I said, 'No, you’ve got a lot to do here' and he comes to the conclusion that he's just accepted it."

In a bid to shed awareness on Seth's condition, the Lanes have enlisted folks around the globe to join in wearing the happy hue and share it on the Web using the hashtag #WearYellowForSeth.

"Yellow is Seth's absolute favorite color," Lane said. "He loves anything yellow. If I put a yellow shirt on, he says, “Look, yellow!'

"It perks him up when he's feeling rubbish, really." she said. "We said we're going to hang them [photos] all up, but I think there's going to be a lot more pictures than we thought. I think we’ll need a football stadium.”

Lane said that in addition to raising Seth's spirits, she hopes the social campaign will bring attention to SCID.

"It's about raising awareness about how a bone marrow transplant can literally save a life,” she said. “It's not something a lot of people know about it. I didn’t know about it until Seth was diagnosed.

"If more children can get more matches because of this, even if one child can get a match, then that’s fantastic."

Because of taking antibiotics for years, Seth must have his gallbladder removed sometime next week, his mother said. If all goes well, Seth is scheduled to start chemotherapy in five weeks, then have his second bone marrow transplant eight days later. His father will be his donor.

The Lane family added that they are not looking for any donations. They just want people to share photos of their wearing yellow for Seth today.