When a carer becomes a life saving donor

October 23, 2017
Personal Stories

Sarah Clarke was just 23 years old when diagnosed with grade 3 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 1988. Diagnosed with Myelodysplasia just over a decade later, Sarah underwent a stem cell transplant at St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney, in 1999.

Following her own transplant, Sarah encouraged her husband and carer, Michael, to register as a bone marrow donor in the hope that he could help with another patient as she had been helped. Sadly, Sarah passed away in April 2016 following complications.

In an email to Arrow, Michael wrote, “At the same time I received a phone call from the QLD Bone Marrow Registry saying I’d been matched as a donor for a 60-year-old USA citizen. I went through my work up in November 2016 and had bone marrow harvested from my hips in December 2016. The recipient has survived and is now out of hospital recovering well. If it hadn’t been for my dear Sarah pestering me to go on the registry back in 2002, that USA citizen would never have received my bone marrow.”

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