Hello, I'm Elena, I'm 35 years old and I've been fighting against lymphoblastic leukaemia for five years. Finally the long-awaited donor arrived, a Belgian girl's cord, and now I'm recovering slowly.
Elena's letter before finding a compatible donor
"All of us have dreams; many of them accompany us at night, while we sleep, and others, the most important ones, are the ones we have while awake. The dream of most people with blood illnesses like leukaemia and lymphoma is to find a compatible marrow donor who can save our life. Making our dreams come true is in your power. I have that dream! Dreams are the first step towards improving the world in which we live. Although dreaming is not enough, without dreams projects would not be started. Mine is to encourage everyone to go to their nearest hospital to donate marrow. It's very simple and poses no risk. A blood analysis checks compatibility with patients and if compatible a stem cell extraction is performed; the process is similar to getting a blood sample taken. Your bone is not pricked, as had to be done in the past. Fortunately medicine has advanced a lot and tries to prevent unnecessary pain and risk.
I would like to encourage pregnant women to donate their babies' umbilical cords. They're full of healthy stem cells and it's a sad fact that, given that they can save lives, they end up in bins. Don't be afraid! Fear can become an obstacle when it comes to making dreams come true; if you overcome it and go ahead with the donation it will bring you great satisfaction.
You will be helping to save lives. What better pleasure is there? Thanks to my dream I've started this campaign to encourage you to become bone marrow donors. Sharing my dream publicly can help make it come true.
Thanks to the José Carreras Foundation for helping me to make my dream come true, and of course, to all donors".
Help people like Elena 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