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My Bone Marrow Transplant

Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

Today I turned 62. Without modern medicine and great doctors I would not have made it to 59.

We spent the morning in the hospital room of Alexa, a very brave 5 year old with AML, who was starting her third chemo session. Because of her cytogenetics she should have a BMT, but her 2 year old sister is not a match and no other donor has yet been found. We gave her parents some medical contacts in HK and Singapore and explained what we know about the costs of BMT there. In HK and most other places, to get typed as a donor is free. In the Philippines it costs PHP35K+ and that’s from a Government institution, so understandably there isn’t a serious donor registry.

Her doctors had apparently done a donor search in Taiwan, but from what we were told about cross-race matches, as she isn’t Chinese that was pretty much a waste of time. We advised searching in the US and Canada where there are large Filipino communities. We also advised them to make sure that she is transplanted in a centre which does a lot of transplants of that type. As far as I remember there is a specialist children’s unit in Queen Mary in HK.

It was probably too much information overload but we’ve told them they can contact us any time if they think we can help.

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