This is José, he is 56 years old and he is my father...
This is his story...
On September 22nd 2010, after a regular blood analytic he was admitted in the Altagracia Hospital in Manzanares (Ciudad Real), for what they thought was a simple anaemia. Nonetheless, after 15 days in the hospital and taking all kinds of tests, analytics and finally a bone marrow puncture, his diagnose changed: Myelodysplastic Syndrome. It was shocking news! Truth is that thanks to the hospital's haematologists, Mª José and Ana, everything was relatively easier, for they inspired us trust and tranquillity at all times.
The first step in his treatment was giving him Vidaza® while they searched for a donor in order to do a bone marrow transplant, for none of his two sisters were compatible with him. Seven cycles were necessary in order to realize that the drugs weren't working so, at the end of August, with an Acute Myeloid Leukaemia diagnose, he was transferred to the Virgen de la Salud Hospital in Toledo. Everything went quickly: they had to remove the "bad" cells in his marrow with chemo and, fortunately, only one cycle was necessary for him to enter in complete remission. What was worst were the 40 days he was isolated, while his blood levels returned to the normal state, both for him and for my mom, Encarna, who has always been by his side. The plan was to continue with the chemo cycles until the donor appeared, for the disease tends to come back quickly in these cases. Going back home on October 23rd was very good news for him but it wasn't the last one he would get that day; they HAD FOUND A COMPATIBLE UMBILICAL CORD! It was our lucky day.
On November 2nd he was admitted in the Fe Hospital in Valencia to get him ready for the consolidation chemotherapy previous to the transplant and 11-11-2011 was the big day. Everything went fine and he was only isolated for two weeks so by winter break, at the beginning of December, he was out of the hospital, although he had to come back one week later for he had cystitis. It has been tough, very tough, but finally, on January 25th he left the hospital and here he is, at home, getting better little by little, when it had just been 5 months since the transplant.
Thanks for the support of all of those who have crossed our path during these, almost, 2 years: to the people from the haematology floor in the hospitals of Toledo and Valencia, to Mª José and Ana, to all of the friends and family who have taken care of us at all times and specially to the bone marrow donors, to the mothers who give the umbilical cords of their babies and thanks to the José Carreras Foundation for the awesome job you do.
To those of you who are going through the same thing, the most important thing is to be positive and think that the person is going to get well and start a new life after the transplant.
If you want more information about the donation of bone marrow to help people like José (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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.