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One Match Needed to Save a Mother’s Life: Updated

This story speaks for itself – Save a Mother’s Life. It has been written by a husband in desperate need to help his wife. It is your chance to possibly save a life and if not Erica’s than someone that is in desperate need of a bone marrow transplant. Please consider donating today. Please post this on your Facebook page, tweet it or create your own post to spread this urgent call for help across the globe. Time is of the essence. I have added link at the bottom of places all over the world that you can give a sample to. It’s easy and urgent. Please donate today.

Erica, I love you my dear friend and my families prayers are with you every day.

Urgent Plea for Bone Marrow Donors to Help My Amazing Wife and Super-Mama – Erica

Erica Needs our Help to Survive

This is our urgent plea to you and to everyone that you know to help my amazing wife/our boys’ super-mama Erica find a suitable bone marrow transplant donor to help to save her life and to get her back home to our two young boys (ages 2 and 5).  The picture is a recent shot of Erica in hospital.

On the afternoon of June 6, 2012 we were told that Erica had acute mylogenous leukemia (AML).   She was immediately admitted to the Leukemia/BMT ward at Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) and a first round of chemo was started on June 8th.  The first round lasted 7 days.

The intent of chemotherapy for AML (an acute form of blood cancer) is to wipe out all of the bad (leukemic) as well as the good cells in Erica’s bone marrow (where blood cells are formed and grow).   What the doctors are looking for after the chemo treatment is for the bone marrow to be entirely clear of all cells, enabling Erica’s healthy cells to start growing again without the bad leukemic cells (essentially pressing a bone marrow “reset” button).  When the bone marrow is clear after chemo and the recovery period, the doctors call it “remission”.

On June 21st, Erica had a bone marrow biopsy to determine if the 1st round of chemo had done its job.   Instead of a clear marrow, what showed was about 10% “immature” cells.  The concern of her doctors was that these were bad leukemic cells that were not destroyed by the chemo.

On June 28th, Erica had another bone marrow biopsy.  We received the results the next day, on Friday, June 29th.  These results showed clearly that the 1st round of chemo did not do its job.  As of June 28th, the bad leukemic cells were estimated at 60% to 70% of her marrow.  When this all started at the beginning of June, before any chemo treatments, her bad cells were estimated at 26%.

What does this mean? For starters, we were told that this result means that she is in the “high risk” designation for AML.   Very high doses of different, harsher chemo drugs and a bone marrow transplant (BMT) are the urgent course of treatment.

They started what they call “salvage” chemo on Saturday morning (June 30th).  This aggressive round of chemo lasts 6 days, with a 4 to 6 week estimated “recovery” period afterwards.   We were also told that if this chemo does not do its job and put Erica’s leukemia into remission that there are no other courses of treatment for Erica at VGH. Assuming this harsher chemo does its job, Erica needs a BMT right away.  The BMT has to occur shortly after this round of chemo, once remission is indicated (ie that the marrow is clear of the bad leukemic cells).

We need your urgent assistance with the bone marrow.

We need to find Erica as close a match as possible for her BMT from an un-related donor.   There are international bone marrow donor registries that are being searched right now.  As of Friday, the doctor indicated that a match had not been found yet.   Further, if a match is found somewhere in the world, that donor has to confirm their consent.
Our window of time is very short to find a suitable, willing donor if the chemo does its job and the marrow is clear.
If you, or someone you know, agree to donate, and get on the donor registry very quickly, you may be able to assist Erica.
Please encourage friends, colleagues and family to sign up to the registry to donate their stem cells/bone marrow if they are able.
Please circulate and post this information and our plea everywhere you can.
For those of you in Canada, below is a link to the “One Match” bone marrow registry run by Canadian Blood Services (CBS).   Information about the registry and forms to complete are on this site Canadian Blood Services.  For those of you not in Canada please search to find the donor opportunities in your country of origin.

There is a process to follow.  Once you sign up online, CBS contacts you in 8-10 business days and sends you a swab kit – you can contact your local CBS office to see if you can shorten this timeline and/or have the swab done at their location.  Time is of the essence.

Also, if you, and/or anyone you know, are able to donate blood and/or platelets – this is also very important.    Erica had a number of transfusions of platelets and haemoglobins in her first round of chemo and we anticipate there will be many more transfusions during this next chemo treatment.   You never realize how important donating blood and platelets really is until you are receiving them.
Thank you for your thoughts, prayers, strength and support.
Thank you for spreading the word and circulating our plea.
Thank you for helping to bring Erica home.
Faith, Hope and Love
Team Harris
“Go Fighters Go”
(This is what our boys say to their mama to help her get her healthy “fighter” cells working again in her body)
United States:
New Zealand:

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