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11-year-old Capetonian Rachel's life saved by bone marrow donor living in Poland

19 September 2020 8:52 AM
Tags:
Jonathan Ancer
Rachel Ancer
World Bone Marrow Day
SA Bone Marrow Registry

Rachel and her dad Jonathan Ancer relate their story of hope, and SA Bone Marrow Registry's Jane Ward explains how you can help.

It's every parent's worse nightmare - your child getting sick, being told she needs a bone marrow transplant, but that neither your nor anyone in your family is a match.

It's a nightmare that Jonathan Ancer went through when his daughter Rachel was diagnosed with pure red cell aplasia or PRCA which is a rare blood disorder explains Weekend Breakfast host Sara-Jayne King.

But thankfully, in January 2017, a match was found for Rachel and in March 2017 she had her transplant.

Both Johnathan and Rachel join Sara-Jayne on World Marrow Donor Day to share their journey and to talk about Rachel's book which launches today and is called Rachel's Second Chance.

Acting Deputy Director at the South African Bone Marrow Registry Jane Ward chats about how to become a bone marrow donor.

Jonathan explains that no family match was possible so when a match was found by the none marrow registry in 2016 it felt like a miracle.

My wife Jean was an absolute rock, optimistic, and I was an absolute wreck and pessimistic. So I was very cautiously nervous about how this was all going to unfold.

Jonathan Ancer, Father if bone marrow recipient Rachel

He says he did have hope, but also a lot of feat and trepidation.

Rachel would go through a long journey, in the transplant unit for two months during the donor process in2017 followed by chemotherapy.

He says the resources out there such as the Red Cross Children's hospital were invaluable.

We took our lead from Rachel and listened to her and tried not to be fixated on what is her diagnoses, what are her numbers - and do not Google.

Jonathan Ancer, Father if bone marrow recipient Rachel

Rachel has written a book to help others.

It was amazing writing the book to help others get through this.

Rachel Ancer, Bone marrow donor recipient

She is about to celebrate her third 're-birthday' which she says is very special.

My re-birthday is to celebrate when I got my second chance when I did not have to be in hospital all the time, it is when I actually got to live my life.

Rachel Ancer, Bone marrow donor recipient

Rachel has been in contact with her donor in Poland via messages.

It gave me a second chance and let me be a child, so if you could sing up to the registry you could save someone's life

Rachel Ancer, Bone marrow donor recipient

Ward explains bone marrow transplants are needed for those suffering from diseases such as Rachels as well as aplastic anemia.

She explains how the donor process works.

Find out more about how to register here.

Listen to the heartwarming discussion below and find out how you could help someone in need of bone marrow:


19 September 2020 8:52 AM
Tags:
Jonathan Ancer
Rachel Ancer
World Bone Marrow Day
SA Bone Marrow Registry

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