Published: July 20, 2011
Burnham-On-Sea cancer sufferer 'touched' by town's support

A Burnham-On-Sea cancer sufferer says she has been touched by the support of potential bone marrow donors who have come forward after hearing about her condition.

Jo Burridge-Clayton was diagnosed with a rare chronic myeloid leukaemia last summer but because she has a rare mutation the drugs do not work and she now needs a life-saving bone barrow transplant.

Jo, the wife of Burnham and Highbridge county councillor Peter Burridge-Clayton, spoke to this week about her wait for a crucial operation next month.

"I have been on a drugs trial since last August and for most people the drugs work really well but in my case unfortunately I have a rare mutation that the drugs cannot treat."

"The only option for me is to go for a bone marrow transplant. I found out in March and April that I need a transplant and although I do not have a donor yet but they have scheduled me in for August 17th and are optimistic that a match will be found because I'm in a common blood group."

"I will be seeing the bone marrow consultant at the end of July and will know for sure - but they are hoping they have a donor and are fine-tuning the potential matches."

"There are lots of people on the waiting lists like me and sadly almost half of them do not get a matching donor and some die. It's therefore a very surreal time for me at the moment."

"That's why charities like the Anthony Nolan group, who help to save the lives of people with blood cancer, put out appeals for more people to come forward as donors."

"Young men in particular are needed as donors because they have more bone marrow. Giving bone marrow is not a complicated procedure - it's just like giving blood."

Jo added: "I finish work this week because I need to reduce the risk of infection and I will then be in hospital for a month from the middle of August. I won't be able to see my family over that time which will be incredibly difficult, but we will be keeping in touch using the Internet."

Peter said: "We have been very touched by the amount of people who have come forward to offer being donors. It is a difficult time and we are grateful for everyone's support."


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