Astwood Bank woman thanks brother for life-saving stem cell donation

Redditch Advertiser: Diane Holloway and her brother David Alderton Diane Holloway and her brother David Alderton

A REDDITCH woman who was near death after battling cancer for a decade has thanked her brother, and the Alexandra Hospital, for saving her life.

Diane Holloway, aged 68, suffered with leukaemia for 10 years before doctors told her she needed a stem cell transplant to survive.

She turned to her family, and her brother, David Alderton, of Evesham, was a match.

“He has saved my life and I want to thank him for that,” said Ms Holloway, who returned to her home in Astwood Bank, on Friday, January 4, after her operation at the Alex in Redditch in December.

“I have suffered with the blood disorder for 10 years and the Alex has looked after me the whole time. The illness has progressed over 10 years and just got worse. This operation has been very successful, I feel absolutely brilliant, like a new person.

“I am just so pleased and proud of him. It is great to start anew in the new year.”

The great-grandmother and former owner of Super Cleaners in Evesham also praised the care of the hospital, while marvelling at her new blood type. “It is amazing what they do,” she said. “I am now an O positive and before I was an A positive.”

Despite undergoing 12 hours being connected to a machine and numerous trips to the hospital, Mr Alderton, 52, said any of his siblings would have done the same.

“I was the only match, but we all said we would do it,” said Mr Alderton, who works as a mechanic in Evesham.

“The treatment was no longer working. I had to go to the hospital a few times and have injections into my stomach to increase the number of white blood cells. I was on a machine for about six hours for two days.

“We are hoping it has saved her life.”

So far the bone marrow transplant procedure, which involves stem cells found in bone marrow from Mr Alderton being given to Ms Holloway via a transfusion, has been a success.

Sue Sollis, who founded the Tracy Sollis Leukaemia Trust after her daughter died from the disease, said the success rate is greater when the donor is a sibling.

She said: “It is brilliant news that her brother is a suitable match and hopefully everything will go to plan.”

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