When I was initially diagnosed with aplastic anaemia I was told that the treatment I would need would be a bone marrow transplant. The first thing I asked was who was going to be my donor.

The doctor told me that the first people they tend to look at for a match is siblings, if you have any. I have one sister so they said, as long as she was willing, they would test her to see if she was a match. After a few weeks the results came back and it happened to be that she was not a donor. There was no match at all - in fact we found out that I have a rare tissue type (which we were all unaware of before). 

My sister welcoming me home from hospital!

Discovering this news I felt a little bit relieved, as I now knew that my sister wouldn't have to undergo any treatment or go through any pain. I asked her how she felt about it and she was disappointed as I think she didn't want to let me down - when really it wasn't letting me down at all.

I was a little bit worried though because I thought, "Well, if I need a donor and my sister isn't one then who is going to be the donor?

When I went to Cardiff hospital for treatment, which I thought was going to be the lead up to a transplant, my consultant told me that they couldn't find me a match anywhere on their lists. Not one person out there in the world matched with my rare tissue type! He went on to add that actually there was one that showed up, but they were unsure whether he would be a match.

A few months later, after I had luckily had my ATG treatment, I found out that one person actually was a 10/10 match for me. This is brilliant news because I now know that if I do relapse from the ATG and need a transplant then there is a donor out there for me.

I believe my sister was relieved to hear this too because she also knew that even though she couldn't be my donor and help me, that someone else out there could. 

I was so relieved that I also didn't have to put my family through that as well because if something would have happened to my sister in the process of her donating, I would have never forgiven myself for putting my family through me being unwell to begin with but then that ending up making my sister unwell too, as that could have been a risk. 

Hello, I’m Elin! I’m 25 years old, busy working as a nurse normally but very recently been diagnosed with very severe aplastic anaemia. 

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My brother or sister has aplastic anaemia - a guide

We are here for you. If your sibling has aplastic anaemia, then our free guide can provide you with some practical information and support. Available to download on our website, or order as a free printed booklet, in three different age ranges:

Ages 17-25