Despite a global search, Adelaide mother of two Tania Murphy 45th birthday is approaching with her agonizing wait for a life-saving bone marrow donor continuing.
Like many others, before she developed acute myeloid leukaemia Tania did not know that she had a drastically reduced chance of finding a compatible donor because of her mixed Balkan/Anglo heritage.
Pamela Bousejean from ‘UR the Cure’ explains:
“80.8% of people on the Australian Bone Marrow Donor Registry are of North Caucasian background, the rest are split up into tiny percentages of the different ethnic groups. This disadvantages patients who has some type of ethnic background if they ever need a match. Many ethnic groups have less than 1% representation on the bone marrow registry, people with Southern European heritage which includes the Balkans, Italy and Greece make up less than 4% of the Australian registry.”
Tania says “I am just so grateful for all the support I have received, but I really want Australians aged 18-45 with non-Anglo heritage to know how important it is for them to join the Australian Bone Marrow Registry. This wait to see if you will get a life-line just isn’t something people should have to go through and so many people are at risk without knowing it.”
Tania’s husband Chris adds “Once you are in the position that your wife, the woman you love and the mother of your kids, has no control over living or dying you just want to do anything you can. Only 1 in 1500 who join the bone marrow registry are asked to donate each year and even if you donate it’s not much more than a day procedure – but it saves lives, it could save my wife’s life.”
Tania especially encourages Balkan sports clubs, community groups and faith organisations to consider organising group donations or community bone marrow drives.
“Just this week the Gospic Bears Football Club in Melbourne decided to go down to their nearest Blood Donor Centre to join the Australian Bone Marrow Donor Registry as a group – these kind of things are awesome because it really pushes up the number of people with Balkan heritage on the registry, especially the number of younger men who have lots of stem cells and make really good donors. Imagine if what they did saves someone’s life? Maybe my life?”
Tania will be celebrating her 45th birthday on March 20th with family and friends, she looks forward most of all to cuddles from her children, 8-year-old Tayla and 5-year-old Kalan.
Tania is unable to have further chemotherapy; time is of the essence to save Tania’s life.
The ‘Find Tan a Donor’ campaign is asking any person in good general health aged 18–45 and with Balkan or mixed Balkan heritage to visit their nearest Australian Red Cross Blood Service donor centre to register on the Australian Bone Marrow Donor Registry as soon as possible.
Increasing the number of people with Balkan/British Isles heritage on the registry could not only save Tania’s life, but will help protect all Australians with similar heritage who need a bone marrow donor in the future.
Key points about the donation process:
• If you’re between 18 and 45 years old, in good health, meet the eligibility criteria and are prepared to donate for anyone in the world, call the Australian Red Cross Blood Service on 13 14 95 to make an appointment to donate blood and join the registry.
• The Australian Bone Marrow Donor Registry is currently focused on increasing the ethnic diversity and youth of Australia’s donor base.
• It is unknown how long Tania can continue to stay well without a donor, to help Tania it is important that people register as soon as possible
• Please visit www.abmdr.org.au for more information, or to see how else you can help
• Website: www.findtanadonor.wixsite.com/fintanadonor
Registering is so simple, in the USA and UK its simple a matter of ordering an oral swab kit which is sent and returned via the post
The ‘Find Tan A Donor’ campaign are looking for volunteers to help distribute flyers and arrange donor drives in the Croatian community. If you help please contact the team via the Facebook page @findtanadonor or the website
They are parents to two wonderful kids Tayla, 8 and Kalan, 5 and are looking forward to celebrating their tenth wedding anniversary in December 2017.
Tania has a unique childhood, growing up in outback Mintabie, an opal mining town and attending the school of the air, she was one of the children who famously spoke with HRH Princess Diana when she visited the School of the Air in Alice Springs.
She is a qualified yoga teacher Tania was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia in mid 2016, she requires a bone marrow transplant to survive. On November 2nd 2016 Tania was told by the Australian Bone Marrow Donor Registry that there are currently no donor matches on the registry for her.
Because suitable bone marrow donors are most likely to be found in people with a similar ethnic heritage, Tania needs people with Balkan/British Isles heritage to register on the Australian Bone Marrow Registryas soon as possible so she can keep on living the life she is so passionate about.