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Update on the Australian-Croatian in Search of a Bone Marrow Donor

Tania Soldo-Murphy

Last year we wrote about Tania Soldo-Murphy from Adelaide in Australia, who has a rare form of leukemia and is in desperate need of a bone marrow donor to save her life.

Soldo-Murphy, a mother of two, urgently needs a bone marrow transplant to save her life. Despite there being about 28 million people registered on global bone marrow donor registries, there are still no compatible donors on the registry for her.

Tania may not have found a donor in part because of her ethnic heritage. Tania, like many Australians, has a mixed ethnicity; her father is from Croatia and her mother’s heritage is from the British Isles (Irish).

Tania with her daughter

Ethnicity is one of the main factors in bone marrow donor matching, but Australia’s (and the world’s) volunteer bone marrow donors do not currently reflect the ethnic diversity of the population.

There has been a lot of interest since we first published Tania’s story. We recently spoke to the organisers of the ‘Find Tan a Donor’ campaign to get an update.

“It’s winter over here in Australia and we are very very thankful that Tania has been able to remain well over the colder months. We spoke with her today and she remains very positive and grateful and is loving drinking ‘warm turmeric latte’s’ to keep her healthy. She’s very much taking each day at a time, she’s still very tired and is focussed on resting, staying well and spending as much time with her family as possible.

Tania is still in remission which is such a blessing as she must remain in remission to be able to have a bone marrow transplant when we find her a donor. She still does not have a donor match so time is very crucial. If she comes out of remission she will be unable to have a bone marrow transplant.

Tania recently had her DNA tested so she could see her accurate ethnic background. It was confirmed that she’s Irish (British Isles) Croatian (Balkan) which led the @findtanadonor campaign to try and get the attention of the singer ‘Lorde’ as she is that exact ethnicity. The idea was if we could get Lorde’s attention that she may be able to share Tania’s story with her huge social media followers and help us get the word out there… we’ve had no luck getting Lorde’s attention yet but we’ll keep trying!

The @findtanadonor campaign is still going strong. We are asking anyone who is not currently registered to be a bone marrow donor to please register in their country.

In Australia, all people need to do is call the Australian Red Cross on 131495 and book an appointment to donate blood and make sure you tell them you want to be registered on the bone marrow donor list.

Other countries please head here for details on how to register:


(In the USA, UK and Canada registering is as easy as ordering an oral swab kit online, it’s sent and returned via the post).

Tania and her husband Chris stay as positive as possible. They are going to be renewing their wedding vows this December to celebrate their 10 year wedding anniversary,” The Find Tan a Donor campaign said.

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