A donor for Joe
THE family of a teenager with leukaemia is celebrating after finding a donor – across the Atlantic Ocean in Canada. Joe Males, 15, of Old Hale Way in Hitchin was diagnosed with two types of leukaemia on January 13. Since then his family has been appeali
THE family of a teenager with leukaemia is celebrating after finding a donor - across the Atlantic Ocean in Canada.
Joe Males, 15, of Old Hale Way in Hitchin was diagnosed with two types of leukaemia on January 13.
Since then his family has been appealing for local residents to join the bone marrow donor register.
The recent blood sessions in Hitchin recruited another 60 people onto the register but a full match was found in Canada. The family only know that the donor is a young man from Canada. He will make his donation in his home country and it will be flown over to the UK.
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Joe and his parents Sue and Dave will travel to Bristol Children's Hospital this weekend so that Joe can have his own marrow "harvested" while he is in remission, in case the donor is rejected.
On the day of the transplant, expected to be within the next two weeks, Joe will go into an isolation bay for a month to prevent infection. He will have a special clean diet.
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After this time he will have to stay in a hostel for two months.
Joe's mum Sue said: "I'm not looking forward to the time so far away from family and friends - it's not like being 45 minutes down the road. We've had so much support from everyone that it will be difficult to be such a long way from all of it.
"We feel like we are probably halfway through treatment but this next step is a very critical stage as there is a risk of donor rejection.
"Joe is in remission at the moment and may never relapse - but if he does, his condition will be harder to treat second time around.
"Every new step brings new hurdles to get through. Joe looks at every hurdle and figures a practical, mature way round it. He's not worried about the transplant but looks forward to the time when he can come out of isolation and get back to his home environment."
She said her whole family are continually surprised by people's kindness.
"Even people who don't know him have been sending gifts and get well messages," Sue explained.
* A fundraising ball is to be held on Saturday, May 13. For more information, contact Mandy on 01462 620032 or Lesley on 01462 621494.