THANKS to a donor in Germany, Jane Milivojezic’s daughter Joeleene will receive a bone marrow transplant which could save her life.
“It’s very exciting and scary at the same time because it’s a new chapter to start,” Joeleene said.
“The hardest moment was waiting for a donor because if I didn’t have a donor basically I would die.”
Joeleene was first diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia in October 2009 when she was 32 and underwent chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Mum Jane, who lives at Wonga Beach, said Joeleene had three rounds of chemotherapy and radium and they harvested some of her bone marrow to store.
“She was in remission by 2010 after umpteen blood donations because the chemo kills off the immune system,” Jane said.
“In October 2011 she relapsed, it was a terrible time because she looked so well and we couldn’t believe it.
“The doctor told her if she didn’t have a bone marrow transplant she would be back in and her own stem cells could still have cancer in them.
“So she was put on the bone marrow donor list in October and had three rounds of chemo again.”
Joeleene Moore is happily married to Barry with two children Tegan, 12 and Joshua, 10, and lives in Townsville, spending her time in hospital in Townsville’s oncology ward.
“I’d like to thank the doctors, in particular Dr Hock Choong Lai and the nursing staff at the oncology ward in Townsville,” Jane said.
“They’re amazing down there, they couldn’t do enough when she got an infection in her finger, I slept in her room and didn’t want to leave her alone especially when she went into depression and wanted to go home.
It was touch and go for Joeleene, if the infection had spread into her bones in her hand they would have had to remove her hand.
After recovering from the infection and finishing her chemotherapy, Joeleene went into remission again but she still needs a bone marrow donation.
“None of my family matched, no one in Australia was a match, so the doctors searched in Europe and the UK and found a person in Germany,” Jane said.
“We found out on Tuesday the good news - I couldn’t believe we found someone, I was so excited.
“The doctor said if they hadn’t found anyone in 12 months they didn’t give her much hope.
“They will harvest their bone marrow over there and send it over to Australia and we go down to Brisbane on April 11.”
Jane will be supporting her daughter through the lengthy transplant process, starting with two weeks of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
All of Joeleene’s extended family have put their names on the bone marrow donor register. Her two uncles have been on there for 10 years and one has just donated to a woman in NSW recently.
Joeleene said she is in remission now and is waiting nervously for her transplant and encourages everyone to become a donor.
“It’s definitely something people should consider because it can obviously save a life,” she said.
For more information on donating bone marrow visit the Australia bone marrow donor registry www. abmdr.org.au