I thought I would do an update on how my mum is going, and to also spread the word on becoming a bone marrow donor.
Before I start, I want you to know I’ve attempted to write this so many times but struggle to find the right words. I’m a pretty private person. So determined not to just sit here, I’m going to share my mums fight with cancer and hope that by doing this more people will join the bone marrow registry OR help spread the word. The more people that are on the list means the more chances there are of finding a match.
A couple of days after my last post on 18th November mum started her 6th round of chemo, she developed yet another infection and ended up in more intensive care. The only thing she could do was fight and for those of you that know my mum know she’s a fighter and has been her whole life. After some of the worst weeks of her life she underwent surgery to remove an infection that had developed in the back of her leg. And then 2 days before Christmas she was allowed to go home. On a good note we had a beautiful Christmas and New Years and she was so happy to be home and with her family.
Back on the 16th December her doctor told her there wasn’t a donor match for her on the Australian registry, it was extremely disappointing for mum and all of us. Now they are looking outside of Australia in hope of finding one.
They have stopped her chemo because she isn’t recovering from it and she will now stay at home – and wait. We wont give up hope – there has to be a match out there somewhere.
Her oncologist believes with a transplant she will have a 80% chance of recovering from ALL but without it her chances of surviving it are very small.
This time last year Leukemia was the furthest thing from our minds and it never once occurred to me to become a bone marrow donor, I have donated blood plenty of times but I really didn’t know anything about donating bone marrow. So I’m hoping by posting this more people will want to help – not just my mother but so many others out there that need a transplant now or in the future.
You can join the registry if you are between 18 and 40 years of age and in good health. Here are some links for more information…
Australian Bone Marrow Donor Registry – Donor FAQS
Australian Bone Marrow Donor Registry – How to join
Thank you x
This is my Mum.
I cannot begin to describe how amazing this woman is and how much she means to me – my brother & sister, her parents, her husband – our whole family and everyone else she has touched with her love and generosity.
On Monday the 6th June 2011 she got up and got dressed for work just like any other day. Except, she wasn’t feeling well. When she got to work her boss took one look at her and told her to go to the doctors but they couldn’t fit her in so she went to emergency. Blood was taken and she was admitted. The next day she had a bone marrow biopsy, and then on Wednesday she was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL). On Thursday she started her first round of chemo and if it couldn’t get any worse, all of the stress on her body caused her to suffer a heart attack on the Sunday. We were all in a state of shock. We couldn’t do anything to help her except be there and support each other.
That week her life changed forever. Her treatment is aggressive and so horrible you wouldn’t wish it upon anyone.
She has now completely 5 of her 8 rounds of chemo and needs a bone marrow and stem cell transplant to survive – the reason I am writing this. Her brother and sister unfortunately have been tested and were not a match so an unrelated donor is her ONLY chance. The probability of finding an unrelated match is 1 in 20,000 to 1 in 100,000. But it is definitely better than not finding a match at all.
This week I will be joining the list, I will not be a match for my mother but I could be a match for someone else’s. So join me and my cousin Mellissa and become a donor – you just never know who you could be helping.
My great uncle who also has Leukaemia has just had a bone marrow transplant and his donor was a 25yr old woman living in WA. My cousin’s wife in Thailand has Aplastic Anemia and desperately needs a transplant to survive.
Please help spread the word, there has to be a match out there somewhere.
Information about how to join the bone marrow registry and becoming a donor click HERE
or you can call the Australian Red Cross Blood Service on 13 14 95.