Doctors recommended a stem cell transplant
“I was coping, but the problem was I wasn’t cured” Andy recalls, “and the leukaemia could switch from chronic to acute and deadly at any time.”
Stem cell transplants have been successful in replacing bone marrow cells lost during the intensive chemotherapy that leukaemia patients undergo, but it is imperative that the donor’s cells are a good match with the patient. Immediate family members are often a good source.
Unfortunately none of Andy’s family members offered a compatible bone marrow match. Like so many other leukaemia sufferers on the transplant list, Andy had to wait until a match could be found. He was not looking forward to the wait, so he contacted us.
“I need to focus on a goal”, Andy remembers. And what a goal! He ran the 2004 Flora London Marathon dressed as Mr Bump as part of our running team. He raised over £15,000.
Sadly, Andy’s mother started to decline. “We had been told she had three years or so ahead of her but chemotherapy was failing and there was no further treatment they could offer her.”
Yet there was a glimmer of hope for the Jackson family. They had received news that a bone marrow match had been found for Andy.
“It wasn’t great timing with Mum so ill, and I knew I might not survive it. But I was too young to give up hope.”