APPEALS: #MATCH4CHARLIE – NEEDS LIFESAVING TRANSPLANT
In 2005 Lazarious Charles, aka Charlie, was diagnosed with Essential Thrombocythemia (ET); a condition where the patient overproduces platelets which are deformed. Charlie and his wife Jenny, were also told the life threatening illness couldn’t be cured, only maintained with chemotherapy tablets.
At this time they were also informed the condition and medication could potentially lead to Charlie being diagnosed with leukaemia in the future.
Five years ago Charlie’s health began to decline. He started to have less energy and became extremely fatigued. Charlie attributed this to his condition and the medication.
Fast forward to the present day, Charlie’s health has gradually become worse. Only two years ago he was sleeping every weekend for 18 hours a day, with complaints with his chest and stomach.
In October 2017, doctors confirmed Charlie was diagnosed with AML (Acute Myeloid Leukaemia).
I had every test my doctor could possibly think of but the results came back clear. In May 2016, when undergoing my three monthly blood test, my platelet count was really low so my medication was reduced. Things didn’t get any better with my health throughout the summer and in September 2017 a bone marrow biopsy was scheduled for 10th October.
I had a haematology appointment with my consultant on 23rd October and knew something was wrong when I saw the nurse, Janet, who had taken care of me for 12 years.
Our consultant spent a couple of minutes talking, asking me an how I was feeling and then came the words “I am sorry to tell you; you have leukaemia, acute myeloid leukaemia. I was told I should go home and put my affairs in order.
Leukaemia happens to other people doesn’t it? Well I am that other person, it’s happening to me. I love life, I have a big smile and a big heart. Everyone knows me because I stop and talk to people, whoever you are from whatever walk of life, I will make time for you.
Now my life is being cut short because as a mixed heritage Caribbean and African man, I have a 20% chance of finding a stem cell donor to save my life. So please my brothers and sisters, join the register to donate your cells. If you are a match it’s a few pain free hours of your life having blood stem cells taken out of your arm that could add years to my life.
Register as a potential blood stem cell donor to give CHARLIE a chance.
When an African or Caribbean person with a blood disorder desperately needs a lifesaving transplant, 80% will not find the match they need; due to there not being enough African & Caribbean people signed to the register.
As bone marrow matching is race specific, Charlie’s lifesaving match will need to come from a black donor.