Hello, my name is Vicente Matoses and I was diagnosed last September (2011) with bone marrow aplasia, after a month and a half without knowing exactly what was going on with me.
I had spent a lovely august. I had been in the Pyrenees with my family, my wife and my two children (1 and 4 years old). I had gone hiking, carrying my baby on my backpack, horse riding, canoeing... everything without feeling anything strange.
When I got home, I got back the results from a routine test I had taken at work. I took a look at them and realized that something was wrong, so I quickly called the doctor and he sent me in to the emergency room to run some new tests. That same day I was admitted. I had arrived with four thousand platelets and very low haemoglobin. Nobody could explain how I wasn't feeling any symptoms and they all kept telling me I had been very lucky to be able to arrive to the hospital.
On the next day, they did a bone marrow puncture and, surprisingly, there weren't signs of any serious illness. They didn't know exactly why I had such low levels. I was discharged and continued going to ambulatory checkups. I began taking corticoids and my levels began to rise but, 20 days later, during a check-up, they realized they had decreased again. For this reason I was admitted again and they ran all kinds of tests until I was finally diagnosed with bone marrow aplasia.
At that moment I didn't know what the disease was but the doctors explained and told me that it would be best to do a bone marrow transplant, so they were going to test my three sisters for compatibility.
Everything happened very fast and, four days later, I was told that one of my sisters was compatible with me. That day I won the lottery, the real one... as time passes I realize how important that day was for me.
After that, I began the treatment and, finally, on October 14th 2011, the transplant took place: I began a new life, an everyday fight that would make me stronger and happier.
Today, everything is going in the right path and each day I think about reaching to the finish line, which is every time closer, and about how lucky I have been finding compatibility with my sister.
Truly, what I am most proud of is about having known since the first day how to deal with the situation. The disease was there and I had to overcome it in the best possible way, with strength, will and hope. I could not let my people, my family and friends, see me suffer and let them suffer for me. For them and especially for my two children I had to give everything from day one.
All of this is what makes you see life differently. It makes you see what really matters in life and what doesn't matter as much. It makes you be happier every day and it gives you amazing strength to deal with any situation that comes up.
What I have planned for the immediate future is to LIVE, enjoy every day, every moment, and every small detail. As soon as I am discharged the first thing I will do is travel to Disney World with my wife and kids, a trip that was supposed to take place during the days my disease was diagnosed and which we were forced to cancel. I owe them and it will be my goal.
I also want to fight for all of those who have a haematological disease; especially I want to fight to help make citizens aware of the importance of bone marrow donation, so that all of those who are waiting for a compatible donor can see their dream come true.
Lastly, I also want to point out the possibility I've had to be in contact with a lot of people in similar situations as mine through the social networks, especially through Facebook, with the Carrera's Foundation page and the colleagues from Pelones peleones. Truly, it has been of great help and I recommend it to anyone who finds themselves in a similar situation.
Without further adieu I say goodbye and cheers to everyone.
LET NO ONE GO DOWNHILL!