STEM CELL DONOR NEEDED URGENTLY!
My son has Acute Myeloid Leukaemia and a stem cell donor is needed URGENTLY to SAVE HIS LIFE!
If you register using the link www.anthonynolan.org/steven we will know how many people have signed up as a direct result of our appeal, thank you! Please note the link does redirect to the main sign up page.
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Following an appointment Steven had today, I have the following update for you: Steven is having regular blood tests and his bloods are currently good and stable. The general news is that Steven is being prepared for transplant, although we have no confirmed donor yet. He will be having more chemo, but it will be gentler (hopefully) than before. This is to make sure that all the leukaemia cells have gone before the stem cell transplant. His doctor is also looking into the possibility of using a new drug, but this has to be approved by NHS England. Fingers crossed! The doctor has confirmed that his treatment cannot move forward until after dental surgery. If you haven’t seen any of my other social media posts, then let me explain what’s happening with his teeth: Steven needs to have ELEVEN teeth removed, leaving him with just his front teeth. His teeth were badly damaged by the radiotherapy and all the chemotherapy. Then he lost all his teeth on the left when the Osteosarcoma was removed from his jaw. Since having the operation on his jaw, he has struggled to maintain his teeth because he can’t open his mouth wide enough. We are waiting for a date for his dental work which will be done under general anaesthetic. #stemcelldonorneeded #bonemarrowdonorneeded #rhabdomyosarcoma #osteosarcoma #acutemyeloidleukaemia
What are stem cells?
Everyone has stem cells in their body. They are the building blocks that all the other cells grow from. When healthy blood stem cells develop they produce the correct number of each type of blood cell. The different types of blood cell are red, white, neutrophils, lymphocytes, plasma and platelets.
However, if blood stems cells do not develop normally, the blood will contain too many immature cells. This can lead to different blood disorders, including cancer of the blood, such as Acute Myeloid Leukaemia. Often, a transplant is the patient’s best chance of survival.
What is the difference between a stem cell transplant and a bone marrow transplant?
In most cases (90% of donations), stem cells are collected from the donor’s bloodstream. This is similar to giving blood. The process harvests (collects) the stem cells and then returns the rest of the blood to the donor.
Doctors may decide that the cells need to be collected from the bone marrow instead. This is done under general anaesthetic, using a needle to collect bone marrow from the donor’s pelvis.
How does a stem cell transplant work?
First the abnormal cells in the patient have to be destroyed with chemotherapy and sometimes radiotherapy.
The next day the patient will receive the new stem cells from the donor. They are given in a similar way to having a blood transfusion. The new cells will find the patient’s bone marrow and start to produce new blood cells. After a while the patient will develop a new immune system which will recognise and remove abnormal cells.
For more information, please visit https://www.anthonynolan.org/frequently-asked-questions
Other ways to help
We need to share this appeal far and wide. Please follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and make sure you tell your friends all about us. Read, like, comment and share our social media posts. We are in the UK, but there is a worldwide register too (just search for Anthony Nolan or DKMS.org and you can find the appropriate website for your country). Someone is going to be the match our son needs – could it be you?