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Archive for June 14th, 2010

World hunt for bone marrow donor for Kenyan dad

Posted by Administrator on June 14, 2010

HELP NEEDED: James Thuo with his family Ella, wife Betty and niece Pauline at their Langford home. Picture: Kerris Berrington Source: PerthNow

HELP NEEDED: James Thuo with his family Ella, wife Betty and niece Pauline at their Langford home. Picture: Kerris Berrington Source: PerthNow

JAMES Thuo lives with the constant fear he won’t get to see his three-year-old daughter Ella grow up.

The 33-year-old storeman has been struck down with leukemia twice in the past four years and fears another relapse will kill him if he doesn’t get a bone-marrow transplant.

Mr Thuo’s doctors have been searching the world for a donor since 2006, but none of the 15 million people registered worldwide, are a match.

A match is hard to find because he isn’t Caucasian — the world’s bone-marrow donor list is largely made up of Caucasians. Mr Thuo came to Australia from Kenya in 2000. None of his family or friends is a match.

Mr Thuo is appealing to people to register as bone-marrow donors, especially those of minority ethnic ancestry.

“Even if they (the people who register) can’t help me, they might help somebody else in the future,” he said.

Mr Thuo’s doctor, Ben Carnley, said there was a significant chance his leukemia would return.

“If it comes back and we don’t have a donor, then we don’t have many options left,” Dr Carnley said.

Mr Thuo’s first leukemia attack was treated with chemotherapy and the second with a transplant of his own bone-marrow stem cells, but these options are likely to fail if used again.

To register as a bone-marrow donor, go to www.abmdr.org.au or visit a Red Cross Blood Service donor centre. JAMES Thuo lives with the constant fear he won’t get to see his three-year-old daughter Ella grow up.

The 33-year-old storeman has been struck down with leukemia twice in the past four years and fears another relapse will kill him if he doesn’t get a bone-marrow transplant.

Mr Thuo’s doctors have been searching the world for a donor since 2006, but none of the 15 million people registered worldwide, are a match.

A match is hard to find because he isn’t Caucasian — the world’s bone-marrow donor list is largely made up of Caucasians. Mr Thuo came to Australia from Kenya in 2000. None of his family or friends is a match.

Mr Thuo is appealing to people to register as bone-marrow donors, especially those of minority ethnic ancestry.

“Even if they (the people who register) can’t help me, they might help somebody else in the future,” he said.

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