A smiling Sonia
"Hello, my name is Sonia Fernández and for the last 25 years my life has been linked to the word ITP. One could argue actually that we are already kind of a long term couple or something like that, as we have had our good and bad moments. However, we have always had a huge smile to celebrate one more year of our special marriage.
I don't even remember the beginning of it, nor the first symptoms, as it was when I was five that my parents noticed their first daughter showed bruises and marks which were quite difficult to explain.
The first diagnosis was skin hypersensitivity. Then I was diagnosed with meningitis and I was treated for that. Finally, after several wrong diagnosis and a bone marrow biopsy showing it was not leukaemia, my family got to know for the first time the word Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) and realized what living with 10,000 platelets had been like for their daughter.
Let's say that it was out of destiny, serendipity or just luck that I came across a haematologist whose name I will not mention for the respect I have for him. He told me from the very beginning I was not ill. He would say I was just a special girl. I remember all his words, the hard treatments, the operation in which I got my spleen removed when I was just nine. What I remember the most, though, is the great support of those surrounding me, their cheerful comments, their kindness, their sleepless nights...
Of course there were moments where I couldn't understand why, especially as I felt terribly guilty for all those tears my beloved ones would shed for me. However, as they say, time heals everything. Nowadays, despite my many scars which will need a bit more time to heal, I only have good memories from that experience.
I am 29. I have an average of 50,000 platelets and a life full of dreams and projects. I have been working for the last four years as a career counsellor. I am done with my degree and I have been living with my sweetheart for the last two years. He is man who supports me completely and knows that, from time to time, I need some breaks to get my strength back. I am lucky to be writing these (I hope) optimistic lines. My beloved ones know that's one of my best qualities.
My motto is Carpe Diem, and that is what I want people who read my story to retain. I want them to enjoy the moment they are living, enjoy being special because it is for that reason that we see life from a different perspective. Good luck to all of you and a huge hug from Galicia."
Scientific research on haematological malignancies is vital. Even more in rare cases such as the one Sonia has shared with us. The main aim of Josep Carreras Foundation is to make leukaemia and the rest of malign blood illnesses curable. There is only one way to achieve that: more and better research!
Help people like Sonia by becoming a member of the cure for leukaemia and haematological malignacies, HERE. You will help us to continue our research so that one day these diseases will be 100% curable. With only a little you can do so much. Thank you!
Find out more about bone marrow donation, HERE