Pictured: Nicolette in bed, her sister (the donor) to the right next and her mother (who sadly passed away while she was still in hospital).
My name is Nicolette Leonard, I am 50 years old and I had a bone marrow stem cell transplant in November 2008 after I was diagnosed with Myelofibrosis in March of 2008. I was very fortunate and blessed that my sister who is just one year younger then me was found to be a match for me. The transplant was done at Groote Schuur in Cape Town and I have been very blessed with a very caring team of doctors and nurses that cared for my entire stay of 7 weeks in the hospital.
I am so grateful today to God, my sister and entire family for supporting me and I realise how privileged and blessed I am to have had my sister as my donor. I have come to realise how other people really battle to find a donor and I have therefore made the decision to tell my story far and wide and to encourage people around me, particularly young folk to have themselves tested and placed on the South African Bone Marrow Registry as donors.
It is now 8 months after the transplant and I feel great, and have had much more energy then I had for the last few years. I trust in God for my absolute and complete healing- this is what he has promised me and I take one day at a time reminding myself of His words. God has carried me and my family through this and I will be ever grateful to Him and all the lovely friends and wonderful family He has given me.