Delight as bone marrow donor found

A GRATEFUL mother has thanked the people of Suffolk after a bone marrow donor was found for her daughter.Dr Sarah Shaw, from Ipswich, said she was delighted with the support shown people to the plight of her daughter, Naomi, 15.

A GRATEFUL mother has thanked the people of Suffolk after a bone marrow donor was found for her daughter.

Dr Sarah Shaw, from Ipswich, said she was delighted with the support shown people to the plight of her daughter, Naomi, 15.

Naomi, a pupil at Northgate High School, Ipswich, has battled against neutropenia since birth, a rare debilitating bone marrow illness which weakens her immune system and makes her more prone to infections.

She was diagnosed in May with a form of acute myeloid leukaemia and desperately needed a bone marrow transplant.

But the chances of the youngster finding a good match were drastically reduced because she is of mixed-parentage and on the UK Bone Marrow register there are only 14,000 out of 545,000 potential donors who are of African, African Caribbean or mixed-parentage descent.

The African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust organised a registration clinic in the Ipswich Corn Exchange in June to find suitable donors.

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In the end a donor was found in America but Dr Shaw said she had been very impressed by people in Suffolk who were willing to attend the clinic and who had shown an interest in helping her daughter.

"They held two clinics and we even had one young woman who came across the county because she had read the story and she was really concerned about this girl," she said.

"People have been very touched and we want to give them the encouraging news. People who had made the effort might like to know that Naomi will have a transplant and she is not still waiting around.

"Naomi is very pleased that they have found a donor and that she can get it over and done with, but it is very scary for her."

Naomi entered a hospital in London yesterdayto start having her treatment. The race was on to find a donor quickly because if Naomi's condition worsened the doctors would have to give her chemotherapy and this is not so suitable for neutropenia sufferers.

Naomi said recently: "There is a higher success rate for transplants if you don't have the chemotherapy first – but the longer they leave it, the more it becomes a life or death situation."

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