Pablo Ráez finds a bone marrow donor in the USA
He was given the news last Friday, during one of his checkups at the Carlos Haya hospital in Malaga. They thought a bone marrow donor may have been found for him. On Monday, when he went for the first of his five new chemotherapy sessions, it was confirmed.
Pablo Ráez, who is suffering from leukemia, lost no time in spreading the news on social media, which has been his window to the world since suffering a relapse. He has already had one unsuccessful bone marrow transplant (the donor was his father) and his message was not as joyful as many people would have expected. What he posted to announce that a donor had been found was bittersweet: “Few people will think of how afraid I might feel. It is very hard. I’ll need much stronger chemotherapy, more medication, I’ll have to be isolated in the transplant chambers and won’t know how long I’ll have to be there or how the transplant will go or even if it will be rejected. When I say I’m not afraid of death, it’s true, but I am afraid of the suffering which I can’t do anything about. What will be, will have to be,” he said.
Seconds later, his mobile phone began to ring incessantly. Something which was great news for his supporters is a road full of uncertainty for Pablo. “People are congratulating me and telling me I can do this. It isn’t the end, though. I’m not saved yet. I know I’ll have to withstand a great deal. I know what is to come, and I know what the consequences of a rejection are,” he told us.
A young woman from America appears to be the person whose bone marrow is 80 per cent compatible with that of Pablo Ráez. “They’ve had to remove some of the parameters in my case because it was so hard to find someone 100 per cent compatible. With this person the compatibility is 80 per cent, but bearing in mind that with my father it was 50 per cent, that’s OK,” he explained.
“It’s hard to take in”
Monday was a difficult day for Pablo and his family. The confirmation of a donor coincided with the start of five new chemotherapy sessions and numerous doubts about the future. “I feel fine, but this news is hard to take in. I’m undergoing chemo again, they’ve told me I’ll have to be admitted to hospital again in five weeks, there’s the preparation... it’s an accumulation of things, and to be completely honest I’m not feeling very cheerful right now,” he said.
Despite all that lies ahead, this young man from Marbella once again demonstrated great maturity and humility in expressing his concern that the campaign to encourage people to register as bone marrow donors might slow down, now that a potential donor has been identified for him.
“I don’t want people to think the work is done. It isn’t. This is one donor, but many more are needed. We mustn’t forget that a lot of people are waiting for news like this, and that’s why we must keep going,” he said.
Pablo’s compatible donor lives in America - the bone marrow donor bank is worldwide - but says she can travel anywhere. “Why is my donor in America and not in Spain? Well, maybe because there are millions of donors there. Even in Germany there are seven million donors, but here in Spain, before this campaign, there were only 250,000. That’s why it’s so important to carry on,” he explained.
At the moment, though, Pablo is only able to think about the difficulties which lie ahead. “It’s not just the treatment, it’s seeing how the body reacts to the transplant,” he said.
In his message on social media he paid tribute again to the support he has received from thousands of people all over the country. “I’m so grateful to all the people who have supported me, many of them anonymously, and to the medical team, my friends, my family, everyone who has registered as a donor. To everyone who is thinking about it I can tell them not to be afraid, it’s not dangerous to donate bone marrow, it’s only dangerous to receive it,” he stressed, before going on to reassure all his supporters: “I want to live and be happy. I’ll keep fighting!” he insisted.source surinenglish