Acute Myeloid Leukemia is a cancer of the myeloid blood cells. The myeloid group of blood cells are the stem cell group that produce red blood cells (to transport oxygen around the body), the white blood cells (which make up your immune system and fight all the illnesses and infections you get over your lifetime) and the platelets (which deal with blood clotting when you cut or hurt yourself). The stem cell becomes corrupted and produces cancer cells instead of the white blood cells. Very quickly, these cancer cells are all the stem cells produce which leaves the body open to long term infections, viruses, illnesses and diseases. The cancer cells also attack the other blood groups, causing even more dangerous complications like oxygen starved organs.
Damion was suffering from headaches all through 2013 but after migraines were ruled out, he was eventually diagnosed in Dec 2013 with High Risk AML - this is the most dangerous level of AML and required, in addition to 4 courses of very strong chemotherapy, a bone marrow transplant. He basically needed a new "factory" to produce the basic stem cells. This would give his blood the best chance of killing the leukemia cells and hopefully allow his blood to produce good stem cells for the future. His headaches were put down to the very low blood count he had at the time of diagnosis.
With High Risk AML, there is always the chance that his AML will return even after this bone marrow transplant has been completed, so he will be monitored and checked for a very long time. As Year 3 approaches, we are estatic that he still remains in remission but we have 2 more years before we can think of him as "cured".......
In August 2014, after it became apparent that Damion's headaches were continuing, we started from scratch in identifying what was causing the headaches. After a new eye test, we found that Damion is also suffering from Keratoconus astigmatism in his right eye. This is a very rare form of astigmatism that happens in young male adults (ages 15 - 25) where the astigmatism in the eye, causes the cornea to become reshaped and more cone like.
Damion remains in Remission!
Damion is still being monitored by an Eye Specialist at the RVI to record changes to his vision. Luckily this seems to have slowed down to a more manageable rate, possibly because he is still in remission!
Damion is also now at University studying Software Engineering, after working hard on some outstanding A Level results!
The Bubble Foundation UK raises funds for medical equipment, toys and educational aids, welfare of the babies, children and their families, and importantly to fund research required at this cutting edge of paediatric practice.
We need support so that more babies and children can recover and go home to live normal lives.
We match incredible individuals willing to donate their blood stem cells or bone marrow to people who desperately need lifesaving transplants. We educate young people about the lifesaving difference they can make by joining our register. We conduct groundbreaking research to improve the success rates of transplants and improve the lives of all people with blood cancer. We are there with support, advice and information for people with blood cancer and their families.