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Daily Record
Daily Record
Vivienne Aitken

Scots gran with rare bone cancer celebrates two birthdays thanks to German donor

A gran plans on travelling to Germany to meet the stranger who saved her life.

Carol Burnside, 71, paid tribute to the man who helped her celebrate her “rebirth date” after he donated bone marrow. She wants to be introduced to the donor who stepped in to help when she fell ill in 2018.

Carol, who lives in the Borders with husband Derek, said: “I’ve lived four extra years and I’m looking forward to many more. I’ve learned to count my blessings and appreciate every day. I wouldn’t be here today without the transplant, so I’m grateful to my donor.

"I’m planning on going to Germany and thanking him personally.”

Carol thought she’d picked up a bug on a trip to see family in Vancouver, Canada, and Austin, Texas, in the US. Test confirmed she had a rare bone marrow cancer, myelofibrosis.

Her only chance for a good quality of life was through a bone marrow donor but she needed a strong match. One was identified through the Anthony Nolan Stem Cell Register service which globally links potential donor matches for BMT patients.

The transplant took place at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow.

Carol said: “I celebrate two birthdays – my birthdate and my rebirth date. And I know which one is more important to me now.”

Susan Groom, director for regional services at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, said: “We are extremely proud of the service our BMT teams are able to deliver to patients across the country. For patients like Carol, it’s life-changing and provides a second chance. But for the service to work to its full potential, we need donor matches for patients.

"It’s therefore really important we ensure as many people as possible come forward to register to donate bone marrow.”

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