I chose to share Bella’s journey to raise awareness about Childhood Cancer & how is relates to the life giving blood donations & the bone marrow donor registry. Advocacy & awareness is very close to my heart.
The registry requires more donors to increase genetic diversity on the BMDR (Bone Marrow Donor Registry).
Many people around the world including children diagnosed with cancer (including our Bella ) require healthy bone marrow from a donor. A leukemia patient cannot produce healthy marrow.
A recipient can obtain a match from an unrelated donor. But we need to encourage ppl in the community to consider registration on the Australian Bone Marrow Donor registry.
Our family (including Olivia-sibbling) was not a match. Both Tosh & I are only ever going to be 50% match for Bella as 50% of her genetic make-up comes from X chromosome (mum) & Y chromosome (dad).
When doctors can no longer use chemo as means to attack the cancer cells, they may go to BMT (Bone marrow transplant). But the donor needs to have a similar genetic make-up to the recipient.
Thankfully, due to the generosity of a donor Bella has an unrelated donor match @ 94%, who is in his 20s from the U.S. Bella’s nationality is 50% Japanese, 25% Vietnamese, 25% Chinese. So this donor match person has this background also. To obtain a marrow match is not as simple as giving blood & being able to receive blood from someone with the same blood type.
To be a donor is easy. You register with ABMDR via Blood Bank & if you are a match, that is the only time the ABMDR will contact you. You need to be aged between 18 & 45 years old.
Did you know when the hospital extracts the marrow from the donor, they only require a small amount of marrow from your healthy marrow? It is a 2 hour procedure? Usually, you won’t need to take more than 1/2 day off from work!
BMT has saved countless lives. Please consider becoming a donor. Contact Australian Red Cross Blood Bank for more information 13 14 95.
Please share to raise awareness & help save lives!
Team Bella : Never give up! 🎗 ❤💚💙