Sandy Thorne, a 47 year old gym instructor, was someone who urgently needed a bone marrow stem cell transplant. Sandy was diagnosed with Acute Myloid Leukaemia (AML) on the 18th May 2009. From doing three aerobics sessions a day for years, Sandy experienced extreme fatigue and had to walk out of a class for the first time in her life. Her glands were swollen, so she went to the doctor who prescribed antibiotics.
She then lost 4kgs in a short space of time and the doctor requested a G scope (gastrointestinal endoscopy) on Friday, 15th May. On the Saturday she felt very weak and on the Sunday she fainted. On Monday her blood tests came back and she was told she had leukaemia.
The first session of chemotherapy didn’t work so they increased the dosage after which Sandy went into remission. On the 3rd February 2010, after a bone marrow aspiration, the leukaemia was back. Sandy desperately needed to find a bone marrow stem cell donor match and after a courageous fight against leukaemia, she sadly passed away on the 10 September 2011.
We urge South Africans to step forward and become a donor so that patients like Sandy will have hope and an opportunity to a longer and healthier life.