Sunday Inspiration: Helping to cure kids with cancer; the kindness of strangers

In the second of our Sunday inspiration posts we have a post by the brave and inspiring Jane Blackmore who blogs as Northern mum

Helping to cure kids with cancer; the kindness of strangers

Less than two weeks ago I posted a blog on my reasons for trying to run this years london marathon. I have been overwhelmed by the sheer kindness of strangers; I have received almost seven hundred pounds at the time of year when we are all scrimping and saving.

And do you know the most astounding fact I have ‘met’ only three people on that list. If you look closely you will even see some celebrated authors and a couple of celebrities.

Here’s the link: http://www.justgiving.com/Jane-Blackmore

I can be considered a misery at times and now in terms of human kindness I stand firmly corrected.

So I would like to see how far this social media wave can carry me on my quest to raise two thousand pounds for Seth and the Anthony Nolan Trust. Please donate your pennies, it doesn’t have to be pounds; and retweet if you believe in the kindness of strangers!

Plus if you are a ‘real life friend’ feel free to dig deep and add to the total as you know more than most how little time I have and how unfit I truly am!

About me

I am an overweight rather grumpy mum of five year old twins and a seven month baby. I am lucky enough to know a special little boy called Seth who has taken on the curse that is leukaemia and has fought a long hard battle which he has won with the help of Anthony Nolan.

Please listen to Seth’s dad for more details on his son’s illness.

“In April 2008 Seth was diagnosed with a blood cancer called Acute Myeloid Leukemic. The day after he was diagnosed he started 6 months of Chemotherapy. He was two years old. During his treatment his Consultants carried out tests on the cancer to give an indication about how well the Chemotherapy was likely to work. Unfortunately the results were not good, the Chemotherapy was unlikely to be effective and he needed a stem cell (bone marrow) transplant to give him the best chance of a cure.  

Every one of us has billions of stem cells in the bone marrow inside our bones. These cells which produce all the blood in our body throughout our lives. The transplant aims to remove all of these cells, including the ones which are cancerous and replace them with new stem cells from a closely matching donor. The hospital searched databases worldwide for a donor, they were pretty hopeful that one would be found, however none were.  So without a donor Seth just had the Chemo to rely on.  

At the end of treatment initially the signs were good and we hoped he had got away with the slim chance he was given of the Chemotherapy working.  Sadly in January 2009 his cancer relapsed. He started more Chemotherapy and more searching of databases took place, no living donors had become available but thankfully the Anthony Nolan Trust found a lifeline for him. The stem cells from the umbilical cord of a baby born in Germany were a good enough match for him to have a transplant. The chemotherapy continued for a few more months, ending with a final dose which killed off all of his stem cells and with them we hope the cancer forever. 

 On April the 19th 2009 23ml of blood rich with stem cells, were transplanted into him. This is a difficult point in the transplant process, the chemo had left him very unwell and with none of his own stems cells left to make blood, he relied upon daily blood transfusions for weeks to keep him alive. Eventually we started to see signs of the new stem cells beginning to work, but as they did a common side effect of the transplant also started, Graft vs. Host Disease. His new blood saw his body as a foreign object and began to attack it as if it was a virus. This caused the most horrendous pain, prevented him from eating and damaged his lungs, liver and gut.  He had IV morphine to manage the pain and was fed through a tube into his tummy and IV line for months.  

Very slowly he began to get better and after months in hospital was allowed home.  A year after the transplant he was still unwell, but he finally stopped being fed through the tube and was strong enough to go to play school again. He has continued to recover and in September this year started school. He still has a few side effects and the time in hospital has left him a little shy compared to other children, but other than that he is a normal, happy little boy. 

Jane Blackmore

If it were not for the kindness of a mother donating her babies umbilical cord and the Anthony Nolan Trust Seth would not be here today. Today there are over 2000 people in the UK who like Seth cannot find a donor. To help these people it’s easy to join the register of donors, all it takes is a sample of spit and if you are lucky enough to be given the chance of saving someone’s life through donating, it’s as easy as giving blood.”

Please donate, support me as I race against time to get these scared legs ready to run 26 miles.

http://www.justgiving.com/Jane-Blackmore

As Jane says if you just gave pennies it would still truly help this fabulous cause. Why not have a look down your sofa and donate the equivalent of what you find ……… Good Luck Jane!

Thank you fo reading this and please jpopin me in wishing Seth a fabulous and healthy life. 

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