Asturias, Thursday, May 10th 2012
My name is Diego Beltrán García, but my friends call me Beltrán. I am 21 years old and on August 13th 2012 I was diagnosed acute myeloid leukaemia.
This is me the day I got the news, with my sister. It was the saddest day of my life and a day that made me change 100%.
One week before my diagnosis I had already had some symptoms: fever, bloody gums... Nevertheless, I thought I was a healthy person so I didn't think it was important, I just thought it might be some virus or something like that. A week after, they ran some routine tests and the aggravating illness came out: leukaemia. My whole world tumbled because, 40 years ago, my grandmother died due to the same illness, for they weren't as many means as there are today.
I was admitted in the hospital, in Oviedo, for a bone marrow puncture and some other tests. They all indicated I had leukaemia. They let me stay two days at home, for it was a long holiday and they couldn't start treating me, and I enjoy it as much as I could for they were my last days of liberty before the admissions.
I was finally admitted, happy, because I knew that nothing was going to go wrong, that I was going to make it. I had to be admitted 5 times for chemotherapy in order to kill my illness. I couldn't have gone through that process without the help of my people: family, friends, even doctors who were like another family member. After 6 months of chemotherapy, being admitted for at least 1 month for every session, the BEST NEWS THAT COULD EVER ARRIVE finally came, I had a DONOR.
I was admitted at the beginning of 2011 for the transplant. There, I met my saviour, Dr. Carlos Vallejo. I had never met such an approachable and competent doctor. They did the transplant on the 28th, a day before my birthday, the best present they could ever give me. It was the worst month of my life because I had to be isolated and was not able to see my people, only through a glass, but my mother was there with me, having even a harder time than me, but thanks to her and the people around me and the doctors I am still alive. I wanted the day that my donor saved my life to be engraved in my skin because it was the day a person saved my life without asking for anything in return and he didn't even know me; for me he is my angel.
Tattoo of the day my star, my donor, saved me
My case is somewhat special, for I have had two relapses; 1 after a year and two months from the transplant and another one only one month and a half ago. It has been two weeks since I left the hospital but, as my Dr. Carlos Vallejo says, we haven't wasted all the bullets in the cartridge. There are still opportunities to save me, I only hope that there are more people willing to become donors and save lives, like mine.
This is me today, thanks to my donor I can keep living and dreaming
Lastly, I would like to thank my doctor, Carlos Vallejo, and his team, nurses, doctors, etc. and specially a nurse, who always knew how to make me smile, even during the worst moments, Rubén. THANK YOU, I will never be able to thank you enough, you are all the best.
If you want more information about the donation of bone marrow to help people like Diego (and many other patients) to have the opportunity of a cure, click HERE. Remember that the donation of bone marrow is altruistic, anonymous, and universal. If you register as a bone marrow donor, you could be making a donation to a person from anywhere in the world. If you want more information, write to firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on our free phone number (in Spain) 900 32 33 34.
You could also become a member of the José Carreras Foundation. With a little amount you could help us to continue our research.