Trans­plant mir­a­cle

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

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

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