Mum’s donor search for daughter goes on

Emma Whittaker, 4, with her brother James, 3. Both children suffer from the rare disease Fanconi Anaemia.
Emma Whittaker, 4, with her brother James, 3. Both children suffer from the rare disease Fanconi Anaemia.

A mum is continuing her desperate search to find a bone marrow transplant for her seriously ill five year old daughter.

Mum-of-two Rachelle Emberton, from Pitstone, teamed up with gym chain Everyone Active to promote the Anthony Nolan charity across St Albans, Watford and Essex.

She has just completed a series of promotional events to inspire people to sign up to the bone marrow register.

Her efforts are to find a match for daughter Emma Whittaker, who suffers from fanconi anemia – a rare genetic disease that in 90 per cent of cases causes bone marrow failure.

Emma was diagnosed with the condition in November last year and in a double blow for the family it was then found that her three year old brother James is also a sufferer. Although a match has been found for little James – and statistics show that he is likely to need it between the ages of seven and 15 – the search is still on for Emma.

Rachelle said: “We are quite desperate to find Emma that match.

“90 per cent of bone marrow donations are done using a method similar to giving blood so there is no going into the hip.

“You have got a one in 1,000 chance of being a match for someone. It is a selfless thing to do and you could save a life.”

On top of work to raise awareness, Rachelle and partner Malcolm Whittaker also deal with getting their children to regular appointments with medical experts, 12-weekly blood tests, ultra sounds and daily rounds of medication.

Rachelle said: “It is really hard but you just have to be mum and get on with it.”

Find out more about signing up as a donor at www.anthonynolan.org