When Allison Shatford was diagnosed with aplastic anemia in 1984 she was given just a 20 per cent chance of survival.
Before her diagnosis, the now 58-year-old described having headaches, bruising, prolonged periods and lethargy.
Eventually it became too much and she was taken to the Leicester Royal Infirmary (LRI) when she was just 23-years-old.
That's when she was given her diagnosis, two years after she first noticed that something might be wrong.
She spent seven years in and out of hospital before doctors gave her another shot at life.
Now, 28 years since her life-saving procedure Alison has written a book about the "frightening" experience.
"I can remember when I was in Florida with my friend and I could not stop bleeding, it was traumatic and that was two years before I was taken into hospital," she said.
"My bone marrow had completely shut down, it didn't make any red blood cells, plasma or oxygen.
"For the next seven years from the age of 23 I was dependant on the blood and platelet donors three times a week for seven years.
"As a young person at 23 my life was taken by this, but I fought it, I never wanted to die."
In her book she said that doctors told her she was only the 13th person to be diagnosed with aplastic anemia after she underwent a series of bone marrow tests.
Aplastic anemia is a serious condition that affects the blood and can happen suddenly.
It is also called bone marrow failure.
Essentially, the condition means that the bone marrow and stem cells don't produce enough blood cells.
There are three types of blood cell: red, white and platelets.
Red blood cells carry a protein called haemoglobin which carry oxygen around the body.
White blood cells help to fight bacterial infections and viruses.
Platelets help blood to clot.
There are multiple symptoms of aplastic anemia, they are: Fatigue, shortness of breath, rapid or irregular heart rate, pale skin, frequent or prolonged infections, unexplained bruising, nosebleeds and bleeding gums, prolonged bleeding from cuts, rashes, dizziness and headaches.
The condition is normally found withing children and adults over the age of 60.
According to the NHS the best form of treatment is a bone marrow transplant - without treatment the condition can be fatal.
Alison had hormone procedures in order to treat the condition, and she said that doctors at the LRI told her they had never seen anything like it.
She said that from 1984 to 1991 she was constantly in and out of the LRI as well as Hammersmith Hospital in London who were helping with treatment.
"I had a hormone procedure mainly used for aplastic anemia and that made me so much more poorly, I was desperate.
"Six months later I had the second course, the treatment involved hormones from horses and rabbits.
"Everyone would bring me carrots, lettuce and apples," she laughed.
"One week before my 30th birthday the doctors said 'Alison it doesn't look good.'
"Leukemia cells had been laying dormant now they had woken up - I had aplastic anemia and luekemia."
She said the medical professionals said that she had one chance and that was a bone marrow transplant.
After testing members of her family for a potential bone marrow donor, her sister Annette was found to be a match.
"It was so unbelievable it was like looking through a haystack to find a needle, that's how rare it was," she said.
"My sister was a match, she was always on the plane coming backwards and forwards for tests; she lived in Ireland.
"I was given a 20 per cent chance of survival before I travelled to hospital for treatment.
Alison said that she started to get her finances in check and had planned her own funeral because she did not want to burden her family in case she didn't come home.
Fortunately after the transplant and extensive chemotherapy, Alison survived.
"In 1991 they said 'expect to be in there for about 15 weeks'.
"After 4 weeks I came home," she said.
"The only set back I had was in the February when I got pneumonia and that was the only time I couldn't control my own body, I was given morphine that knocked me out, but I'm still here."
Allison also had a stroke seven years ago, but again survived after having a blood clot removed before it reached her brain.
The 58-year-old former carer from Oadby now owns and runs a shop on Welford Road called Alison's Bits & Bobs.
From that shop she has helped to raise over 2000 for charities such as the Anthony Nolan trust.
She has also now written a book about her life.
"I have had my shop here for two years and have given 2000 already.
"I've walked Ben Nevis, sky dived you name it, I've done it.
"I have a portfolio on my shop window of all the media cuttings from 1991.
"In the first piece that was published I said I would write a book, so I did.
"I started writing it in February in my shop and it took me four weeks, I'm delighted with the book."
The book is filled with her memoirs that detail her struggles throughout her life in great depth.
The money made from sales of the 500 copies she has had printed will be donated to the LRI Haematology ward, Hammersmith Hospital and the Anthony Nolan Trust.
Alison lives with an unrivaled sense of positivity despite her ordeals in life.
"I love it here, I can educate and talk and listen to everyone.
"I think everyone deserves a shot at life, I'm still here, I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.
"I just want to give people hope and strength to get through like I did and that's all I can ask for."
You can purchase of a copy of Alison's book at her shop in Welford Road for 14.99.
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