César, CML former patient
Letter from Gloria, wife of César, a former leukaemia patient:
César, my husband, is now 44. In 1999 he was diagnosed with CML; he received a transplant in 2000, had a relapse and in 2001 received another transplant. Some time later he was given lymphocytes, donated by his sister. He then had a severe GVHD affecting his skin, liver and mouth; he had a hard time but, gradually, he recovered.
After some time he went back to work and took up his passion again: road cycling. On the internet, we found out that some games were being held for transplant patients (all kinds of organs: marrow, kidney, liver, heart, lung, cornea) and we decided to take part in them.
Last year we went to the World Transplant Games, held in Canada, and he won two medals: a gold in road race and a bronze in time trial. This year we were in the European Transplant Games held in Hungary and, once again, he won two medals: a gold in road race and a silver in time trial.
The experience of the games was superb; we met many wonderful people from Spain and other countries, all with their transplants and feeling more alive than ever. There were also competitors in dialysis eager to fight and with a high morale.
I am really proud of my champion, but what I feel most proud of is how he fought against leukaemia. From here I would like to give you all lots of encouragement, those of you who have received a transplant, those who are waiting for one, those who are fighting the disease with pills, chemotherapy or whatever your treatment may be. As far as I'm concerned you're all the greatest of champions and there aren't enough medals in the world to reward you with. As an amusing story, I'll tell you that when César was in the isolation room, the first thing he asked for was an exercise bike. There were days when he was unable to do any pedalling but those were few and far between. He made a tremendous effort to get out of bed and carry on pedalling, even if it was just for a couple of minutes".
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Find out more about bone marrow donation, HERE