Stem cell transplant gives hope to leukemia patient

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On Thursday night, the 39-year-old woman from Newfoundland will undergo a stem cell transplant from an anonymous donor in Halifax. Julia Wong/Global News

HALIFAX Janice Davidson is getting a new lease on life.

On Thursday night, the 39-year-old leukemia patient will undergo a stem cell transplant from an anonymous donor in Halifax.

You cant believe there is someone out there in the world who you dont know who is willing to give you a gift that is like no other really, the mother of three said.

Davidson was diagnosed with leukemia five years ago. Since then, she has tried several different treatment options and relapsed twice. A stem cell transplant is now her best option to beat the disease.

Its not going to be an easy path but we know were on the right path, she said. We know what we need to do and we are very hopeful for the future.

The latest figures from One Match, the national program for blood stem cell donors and recipients, show that there are about 750 Canadians waiting to receive a stem cell transplant. Eight of those are in Nova Scotia.

Factors such as genetics, ethnic background and treatment affect wait time in receiving a transplant so Davidson is extremely thankful that she found a match. It is especially fortunate because her three siblings were not matches and there are only 317,810 donors registered in Canada. Of those, 10,337 live in Nova Scotia.

Husband Ian says he cannot express enough how thankful he is to the donor, adding that he or she is now like another member of their family.

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Stem cell transplant gives hope to leukemia patient

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