Stop what ever you are doing right now and read this.
“Just 3% of donors on the UK stem cell register are mixed race” – BBC NEWS (2016)
Below you are going to read a letter from a friend of mine, Mel. She and her family need YOUR help to save her nieces life.
Beautiful Aurora is 9 years of age and she is in desperate need of a bone marrow donor. But due to her mixed ethnicity , she faces worst odds of finding a donor due to her genetic make-uo and lack of availability of possible matches.
Auroras family have been told they are unlikely to be a match and so the bone marrow register is their only hope.
Dear people of the UK,
Honestly, where do I even start about our darling girl. There are so many things that I could write but simply not enough words to do her justice, for she is simply incredible. Bias?
But Aurora really did change my life along with so many others but for me personally, I would go as far as to say that she saved mine!
See, when I found out our Keish was pregnant with Aurora, I was at a particularly bad stage with my mental health. I honestly felt I had no purpose and to cut a long story short, my 17 year old sister told me that that was my every purpose because she needed me and the baby would need her Auntie smell! And in almost an instant, my mindset changed and I knew I would do anything to support them both!
So, when Keish called me to tell me, she told me she had good news and bad news.. obviously, I asked for the good news first and she told me she had booked her holiday to Ibiza and was due to go in June the following year.. And the bad news… was that she was pregnant and Nan was going to be so mad!… And when I say that, the only reason it was bad news initially is because she had so many plans before becoming a mum.. and she knew Nan would hit the roof!.. But I told her we would deal with it together whatever happens and so we booked a doctors appt. And that confirmed it!
Anyway, fast forward to 7th July and it was my job to be Keishas birthing partner and I couldn’t have felt more blessed.. and scared at the same time! She was incredible, obviously! I expected screaming and cussing but there was nothing. Her waters broke and about 20 minutes later we had a 10lb 7oz baby girl, so big they had to check twice!! I fell in love instantly and I cried the happiest tears I have ever cried in my life! I dont have children of my own to know that mothers love that people speak of, but the love I felt for Aurora I guess would be the next best thing and she definitely taught me what the word meant! My first born niece and she was just the most precious thing I had ever laid eyes on and I still feel every single bit of that love today.
I have SO many memories of Aurora over her 9 years, she truly is the best little girl. She is Kind, she is funny, she is clever, she is sassy and she is definitely her mothers daughter. Strong, independent, and the most determined person I know. My nanna sure did raise a Queen in her! But to name a few of my favourites: the time that Aurora was playing and randomly picked up my phone and told me she was speaking to “Old Nanny in heaven and she said she loves you”… Her Jokes: “Knock Knock!… Who’s there?.. No-one, they’re at work! Silly!”… The time she was at my mums and asked her to record her playing the guitar so she could sing a song for me and send it to me and I got Bruno Mars: Count on me.. The time she came to stay at my house and my boyfriend called me from the kitchen only to ask me to scratch his arm and Aurora looked at him in disgust before asking: “Do you actually do anything for yourself?”.. Like I say, she is sassy!
Imagine falling in love with someone so deeply and being told that they have cancer. Let alone an 8 year old child..
Aurora was poorly for a few weeks and we kept up to date daily in our family WhatsApp, waiting for answers from the hospital. I had gone down to Margate the night before her diagnosis to stay with the other 2 babies whilst Keisha was in hospital with Rory and when Ethan got back the following day, I said my goodbyes and went over to see my brother and sister in law and my other 2 nieces before I headed home. As I got in the car, my phone rang and Keish asked me to go back to the house straight away as she needed Ethan at the hospital. My heart honestly felt like it was being crushed and I couldn’t breathe! I think deep down, I knew what was coming when I got there and when I walked in, Ethans face told me all I needed to know and he said
“Its cancer smell!”…
I dont even really remember anything else that was said, only that he needed to go and be with her and so I went to the garden and cried! And then I composed myself because the other babies needed me in that moment and falling apart wasn’t an option.. Its all a bit of a blur, but Keisha asked me to call my parents and tell them as she couldn’t face it in that moment! Coming home later that night to an empty house allowed me to cry, the most painful tears I have ever cried. It was just the most surreal experience. Sure, we knew she was unwell but we tried to put cancer at the back of our mind and hope for something much less sinister.
So go back to before when I mentioned that she is her mothers daughter! And described her determination?.. That’s what our girl is showing right now. She has been Battling for her little life and after 5 gruelling months of chemotherapy we got the news that she was in remission. She called me and said “Auntie Smell, all of my tumors are gone. I kicked its butt!” And I cried! Again! (Once I got off the phone!) I couldn’t have beenmore proud after watching her get so very poorly but she had done it! She had beaten it and we really thought that things were looking up! I went to see her for the first time in months a couple of days later and that cuddle was the most meaningful cuddle I have EVER had in my life! (I didn’t cry this time, but I could have!)
Only shortly after (about a week or so later!) we got the devastating news that her cancer has in fact spread further in her bones and now her only hope is a bone marrow transplant… Imagine the horror at believing that this incredible little girl had fought for her life and that even though she had endured all of that treatment, she was now in a more vulnerable position and her only chance of survival is finding a match for her! 40% of her bone marrow is now affected as opposed to the 28% in the initial stages despite the intensive chemotherapy and due to our mixed heritage, the chances of finding a matching doner are slim.. My heart is broken all over again..
Keisha is honestly, nothing short of an inspiration and Aurora honestly couldn’t have a stronger mother and supporter in her. I am so proud of both of my girls and I love them more than I could ever begin to explain.
I honestly don’t want to even imagine a world without my beautiful nieces presence. She really did save my life, and my only hope is that we can find someone to save hers!!
So my lovely Out of the Shadows people…. what you waiting for… share this…get tested….DO SOMTHING
Keisha , Aurora’s Mummy, Is doing everything she can to save her baby. Imagine it was you? imagine all of the above was happening to your most precious thing in this world…your child. Keisha has been speaking to the local press in the hope the right donor will step forward. You can read some of the interviews here:
You can follow Keisha on Twitter HERE
Any one aged over 30 who would like to be tested as a donor, please follow this link HERE
To read Aurora’s Mother, Keisha’s blog about the journey she is going through , please click HERE