David
Barrie,
Ontario
Donor
Blood

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My Little Girl

I could have checked off recipient as well.

 

When my daughter was 18 months old she was diagnosed with stage iv neuroblastoma, an uncommon, mostly fatal childhood cancer, the most common cancer found in infants. Her treatment would be short but very intense. "The treatment seems worse than the disease" one nurse told me early on. I learned my baby girl would need a lot of blood and byproducts during her treatment.

 

There was a clinic in the old foyer of Sick kids during her first round of chemo so I lined up for my first donation, if it can't help my little girl, I thought, it may help some other Daddy's Little Girl. That was the first of almost 110 donations to date.

 

Part of her treatment plan would be an autologous (self) bone marrow transplant. I went over to the Main Red Cross (at the time) on College Street a few blocks from Sick Kids. I walked over there one day and registered for the International Bone Marrow Registry and signed up.

 

During my daughters treatment she was given an experimental drug, GCSF, designed to stimulate white blood cell growth. It worked so well that during our first consultation with the Transplant Doc we were told that this drug worked so well and produced an ton of stem cells they were able to grow some of our daughters bone marrow in the lab. We were asked if we would consider a stem cell transplant. On July 22, 1996 my little girl, at 2 years old, became the third person in the world to receive a stem cell transplant, the second was another 2 year old neuroblastoma girl at Sick Kids just over two weeks before. The first was an adult male in the US about 2 weeks before that.