THIS week marks the start of a new dawn for 33-year-old leukaemia sufferer Katherine Sinfield.
The reception class teacher was admitted to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham today in preparation for a bone marrow transplant.
Speaking before her return to the hospital where she was a patient for seven-and-a-half weeks earlier this year, Katherine said: “Being told that you have got to spend a month in hospital would fill most people with fear, but for me, it marks the start of my return to health. I was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia (CML) in April, and although conventional tablets kept the condition under control for a few weeks, it was decided very quickly that I would need a bone marrow transplant.
“Considering that only one-in-three people find a match, I was extremely lucky to find one within a few weeks. I cannot thank the Anthony Nolan charity and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital enough for their outstanding work.”
Katherine will spent Monday undergoing fairly routine pre-admission tests before starting a regime of radiotherapy tomorrow which will last until the end of the week. Her weekend will be spent hooked to powerful chemotherapy drips and immune-suppressant drugs.
Katherine said: “The first week of my stay is designed to destroy all of my own bone marrow.
“Your body’s bone marrow is responsible for the production of white blood cells which fight infection. What happens when you have CML is that your body produces lots of immature white cells. As these cells are not fully developed, your body is continually prone to infection.
“By the end of this week, I will not have any of my own bone marrow or white blood cells left – this is preparing me for the transplant.
“My donor will visit their respective hospital next Monday and then I will receive a bag of their donated stem cells next Tuesday.
“The process sounds simple but there are risks and side-effects.”