Scots nurse with rare cancer in bone marrow appeal

Fiona Hart. Picture: Moira Kerr

Fiona Hart. Picture: Moira Kerr

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A MOTHER of two is in desperate need of a bone marrow match to help her fight one of the rarest forms of blood cancer.

Fiona Hart is longing to be reunited with her children as since her diagnosis before Christmas she has been separated from five-month-old daughter, Honor, and son Jacob, two.

The psychiatric nurse, from Bowmore, Islay, needs chemotherapy every second day. While the children stay with their grandparents on the island, Fiona and her husband Simon are staying in Glasgow, where she is being treated at the Southern General Hospital.

Appealing for people to join the bone marrow register to help people in her situation, she spoke of how hard it is to be parted from her children.

Mrs Hart, 31, said: “When I see them, every month, I see massive changes in the kids.

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“Jacob is talking a lot more now and is a wee boy rather than a baby, and Honor, I haven’t really seen much of her at all, she is turning into a big baby, rather than the tiny thing that she was.” She added: “I just want to get back to normality, with them shouting at each other. It’s just a waiting game now, to see how I get on with donors. I just need someone to come forward.”

Mrs Hart initially thought she had hay fever when she first fell ill a year ago. However, months of tests eventually revealed that she has EBV lymphoma T4 killer cell cancer, a disease so rare that only five people in Britain are diagnosed with it each year.

She said: “I was devastated when I got the diagnosis, I didn’t know how to feel, I was just numb.

“I had been ill for a very, very, long time. I got flown out from Islay to the Southern General and they gave me a whole series of tests but they couldn’t find anything, in fact they told me on quite a few occasions it wasn’t cancer – that was because it is such a rare cancer, one in a million.”

Last February she developed hay-fever-like symptoms.

She said: “The midwives said sometimes in pregnancy you can get a blocked nose and not to worry about it.

“I started losing a fair lot of weight. I got septicaemia and was taken to hospital and they found I had three types of bacteria growing inside. They kept giving me antibiotics but nothing was clearing, it went on the whole of my pregnancy.

“When I was having my baby I was quite weak. Three months later I found out what was wrong with me. I had taken a biopsy and it was sent to London and it came back that I had EBV lymphoma T4 killer cell cancer.”

Her 40-year-old husband is urging as many people as possible to join the bone marrow register.

The international charity Delete Blood Cancer accepts donors up to the age of 55, while anyone from 16 to 30 can sign up to the Anthony Nolan register at www.anthonynolan.org.

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