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Tamara (Homes Down Under)

Bone Marrow Registry

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I saw this yesterday and wish that I was able to help. I can get members of my family to join the registry but perhaps there's someone out there who has the right ethnic background? My OH has asked around at work....there is a real range of people from different backgrounds...who knows...it's a very slim chance but we hear about slim chances becoming reality every day :smile:

 

 

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[h=1]Kate Raftery, who has acute myeloid leukaemia, searching for matching bone-marrow transplant donor[/h]Liz Walsh, Parenting writer, The Advertiser

March 29, 2017 8:00pm

 

FOR nine months, Adelaide mother-of-two, Kate Raftery, has been in the fight of her life, battling bravely against a highly aggressive form of acute myeloid leukaemia.

 

But, now, her fate lies in the hands of others.

Despite months of treatment, doctors have told her that her last hope of beating cancer is with a bone-marrow transplant.

However, Kate has a rare tissue type — her mother is Hungarian and her father is Australian/caucasian — and despite there being 28 million people registered worldwide on global bone marrow donor registries, there are no compatible matches.

She is now asking people with a similar ethnicity to register as donors in the hope she might find a lifesaving match.

“I am asking any person in good general health, aged 18-45, and with mixed Hungarian/Central and Eastern European heritage to register on the Australian Red Cross Blood Service bone marrow register as soon as possible,” she says.

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Kate Raftery, with husband Simon and children Asher and Izzy. Kate has been diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia and needs a bone-marrow transplant to have a chance of surviving. Picture: Tricia Watkinson.d76909399d102557c40d7cffcf8ec6e9?width=316

Kate Raftery in 2016, undergoing a cord blood transplant. Picture: Tricia Watkinson“We are also trying to get people worldwide to join the registers in their countries.

“Increasing the number of donors with European heritage on the registry could not only save my life, but will help protect everyone with similar heritage who needs a bone marrow donor in the future.”

Unable to return to her work at the Transport Department since her July 1, 2016 diagnosis, she is putting her efforts into helping the Australian Bone Marrow Donor Registry increase the ethnic diversity of Australia’s donor base.

“My sister would have been my best chance for a match, but she did not have the same tissue type,” Kate said, explaining that over nine months, she has endured chemotherapy, radiation, a transplant of donated cord blood that failed and nine bone marrow biopsies.

She has a special port permanently placed in her left arm, through which she continues to receive regular blood transfusions.

She is currently on a clinical trial of drugs instead of chemotherapy.

But all of this treatment is just biding her time until a bone marrow donor can be found.

“It has given me a few more months to be home with the kids and watch Asher start school,” she says from her Eastern suburbs home.

“I just take it as it is, because what else can you do? I can’t change it; I just figure, anything that gives me more time with the babies.”

And it’s that love she has for her husband, Simon, and young kids — Asher, 5, and Izzy, 2, — that will keep her fighting and hoping.

* The ‘Help Kate Find A Donor’ campaign posts updates on both Facebook and Twitter.

Find out how to register on the Australian Bone Marrow Donor Registry through www.abmdr.org.au

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As a former Bone marrow donor who gave bone marrow about 20 years ago to a patient in England, I would recommend everyone to go onto the Bone Marrow register. I was on the register for about 20 years before I was matched with a patient with Cancer. I can assure everybody that the donation process is almost painless, just leaves you feeling sore for a few days.

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