Isabel con su hijo 

Hello, my name is Isabel and I am 45 years old. I am married and have to children: Juan and Isabel. About 10 years ago I was diagnosed with Acute Leukaemia and my life changed completely. I went from having a normal life to spending my days in hospitals depending on doctors. It was a new and strange life for me. They activated the search for a compatible bone marrow donor and, apparently, my sister was compatible with me. Everything was ready and 15 days before, I received a call that let my hopes down. We weren't compatible! Finally, one year later and in spite of my small chances of survival, I beat the disease for the first time with an autotransplant (the first one at Can Ruti).

It seemed like everything was working and so, why not, I decided to have another baby. I wished that Juan would have a sibling. During my pregnancy the disease showed up again but stronger and with a faster development. Everything started to go wrong, my daughter's life and my own were in danger. What was supposed to be one of the best moments of my life became a nightmare. We both held on thanks to the weekly blood transfusions and, finally, my daughter Isabel was born. She was a lovely and healthy little girl, in spite of some complications she had to beat.


Four months later, I was back in the hospital, ready to begin my chemos and with the hope of finding a compatible donor. Everything was prepared for next year's third week of February, with a compatible donor but, once again, my survival chances disappeared: the donor decided, last minute, not to go through with the donation. This couldn't be happening again!

Nonetheless, "my" professional haematological team, my second family, didn't stop searching. An umbilical cord transplant from an American donor is what made possible that today, five years later, I can tell you my story. It is unbelievable but I have managed to beat this disease, not once, but two times! I have been given back the life I used to have.

 Isabel Salvans camiseta

I look back and I remember how much I have suffered... as well as my husband, my children, my family... but here I am, enjoying life. I returned to my studies and have started to work, living a completely normal life and my big project for the future is simply to LIVE, enjoy my family, and the small things that happen day in day out, it's that simple.

It is the small things that life offers us what makes us grow as human beings and which help us fight any setback.

Kind regards!



If you want more information about the donation of bone marrow to help people like Isabel (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 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.

  • Isabel
  • Isabel patient
Webpage updated 12/11/2023 03:23:22