A BURTON-woman who needed a world-wide search to find a matching bone marrow donor is celebrating the second anniversary of her transplant.
Katherine Sinfield of Balfour Street, was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia in April 2013 and kick-started a campaign in the Burton Mail to increase the number of donors on the transplant register.
While undergoing intensive chemotherapy treatment under Professor Charlie Craddock at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital, a desperate hunt was underway to find the 35-year-old a perfect match.
Thursday 29th October marks Katherine’s second anniversary since the day she received her life-saving stem cells from an unknown female donor in Germany.
Katherine said: “I treat the anniversary of my transplant as another birthday as it was the day that my life was saved and I began life with a completely new genetic make-up than the day before.
I can’t believe that I will be two-years-old this year. Despite some recurrent problems which are the result of the side-effects from my treatment and transplant, I now feel that I am on the road to recovery.
It isn’t an easy route at all as I still struggle with fatigue, occasional breathing problems and various aches, pains and skin problems, but I am alive. Everything I endure as a result of my treatment is relatively easy to overcome with a few creams and tablets. My main focus is keeping the leukaemia at bay and thankfully all of my recent tests show this is undetectable.
I spent close to six months in hospital during 2013 – I am now determined to stay out of hospital and get on with life like everybody else.
I am extremely grateful to my unrelated donor for saving my life. Unfortunately, blood cancer can strike at any time - any person of any age. I would urge people to sign up to the donor register if they haven’t done so already and also help to raise awareness to any new parents-to-be about the possibility of donating their baby’s cord blood. This will provide the hope of a cure for many families across the world.”
Since diagnosis, Katherine has helped to drastically increase the number of stem cell donors on the transplant register while helping to raise thousands of pounds for various blood cancer charities, including Cure Leukaemia. We would like to say a massive thank you to Katherine for her continued support!
Cure Leukaemia's £1m Centre Appeal 2017