04 Feb 2014

    Jamaican-Canadian woman appeals to community to help save her life

    If you’re reading this, Dorothy Vernon Brown can’t live without you. She really can’t. Her stark reality is that without a stem cell donation from someone in our community, she will die.

    Dorothy has leukemia and the only way for her to get better is with a stem cell transplant. She is one of 40 Black people in Canada registered with the OneMatch Network waiting for a donor.

    Problem is… the best chance of finding a match is from a fellow Black person. And right now Black people make up just 1 percent of all donors registered with the OneMatch Network.
    I have no idea why we are not donating more. Donating stem cells is pretty easy to do. It’s not painful, it doesn’t always require surgery and guess what, your body replaces those stem cells within six weeks. Most donors are back to their usual routine in a few days.
    But first, read Dorothy’s story in her own words. 
    Dorothy’s Story:  Mission Possible
    It’s the worst news you ever want to hear. “I think you have leukemia”, the young doctor turns to me and says. “Please go to the hospital right away to ensure you are safe for the weekend.”  That was last August 2013 when I was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML).
    As a devoted mother, wife, entrepreneur and serial volunteer it was a kick to the gut. I had big plans for the future. Real big plans.  This wouldn’t be my story, but it was.
    Thankfully, my treatments have gone well so far but now I am in DESPERATE need of a stem cell transplant to continue to live.
    Less than 25% of patients who need a stem cell transplant will find a match in their family; regrettably, I am one of these.  My best chance of finding a match is if the donor comes from a patient’s own ethnic group.  I am of Jamaican heritage with a mixed background of Black and Irish.
    I urgently need the help of my Jamaican/West Indian community and urge you to become a donor with OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network (www.OneMatch.ca).  This will increase my chances of finding the optimal donor. The optimal donor is males 17 to 35 (although women are not excluded).
    Please become a donor today by registering at www.OneMatch.ca or come out to any of our Swab Events planned for cities across the GTA.
    There are over 700 Canadian patients like me who are in desperate need of a stem cell transplant.  Remember cancer has no friends. It does not discriminate.
    You could be the one to save my life. I need your help.
    Read 3051 times Last modified on Monday, 30 August 2021 10:29
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