Teenager hopes for ‘life of new dreams’

2013-10-03 00:00

LIVING with an illness that has the power to shut down every organ of the body within a moment, can terrify even the bravest of people, but one young man hopes to fight the toughest battle of his life.

Chase Tanner (16) from the Bluff, Durban was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukaemia in September last year, after starting to experience symptoms of tiredness, weight loss and an aching body.

After one session of chemotherapy, he went into remission, but has unfortunately relapsed. Now all hopes are on finding a bone marrow stem cell donor match. The chances of finding a match are 1:100 000 within the patient’s ethnic group. Both his siblings have already been tested, but neither is a match.

“It only takes two test tubes of blood to become a donor and if you are a successful match, the donor process is as painless as donating blood,” explains Stephanie Berry, PR manager for The Sunflower Fund in KwaZulu-Natal. The fund lobbies for bone marrow stem cell donors in South Africa.

“Bone marrow is no longer surgically removed, but additional white blood cells are harvested directly from the blood stream, much like donating blood or platelets.”

Potential bone marrow stem cell donors are added to the registry for any patient diagnosed with leukaemia.

Berry added: “Anyone not able to donate towards the cost of their test will be placed on a waiting list and when funds become available, their forms will be sent to them. It costs The Sunflower Fund R2 000 to tissue type each blood sample before the results can be included on the South African Bone Marrow Registry, which is why The Sunflower Fund does extensive fundraising. A contribution towards this tissue typing cost, no matter how small, is of tremendous help.”

When asked whether he had a message for the public, Chase responded: “I would like everyone to register as bone marrow stem cell donors, as you could be my or someone else’s only chance of survival. You could be contributing to a life of new dreams for me.”

• For more information on becoming a bone marrow stem cell donor, visit www.sunflowerfund.org.za or phone the toll free number 0800 121 082 weekdays between 8.30 am and 4.30 pm.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.