Belinda shares the story behind her brother’s bequest
My brother, Marcus Shepherd, was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) in 1982 (age 32). He had his initial chemotherapy and went into remission in New Zealand, prior to further evaluation and consultation at St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney.
Luckily, I matched his tissue and blood type and Marcus had a bone marrow transplant under Professor Jim Biggs and his dedicated team in June 1982. His post-transplant recovery diligently monitored by the transplant team. With throat ulceration and minor skin irritations, he returned to New Zealand six months later, returning to Sydney for check-ups.
On one of his visits, he attended the first Australia Bone Marrow Association meeting. The dedication, support and friendship that followed from transplant team members, was quite outstanding.
He had a full life for 32 years, with the later couple of years marred by respiratory problems, with regular chest infections and eventual pneumonia.
He was much admired and respected amongst peers, family and medical personal. Hence the inspiration to give back in the form of a bequest to support leukaemia and bone marrow transplant medical research, families, donors and patients.
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