Father, 35, who was left 'infertile' by leukaemia has a miracle baby

November 23, 2018  13:10

A man whose brother gave him a life-saving bone marrow transplant when he developed leukaemia named his first 'miracle' child after his sibling.

Harry Page, now 35, was told he may never be able to have children after having intense chemotherapy during a bout of cancer when he was 19.

But seven years later his partner gave birth to their first daughter, Ryan, who Mr Page named after the brother who saved his life but died in 2006 aged 28.

Now a biological father to two and cancer-free, Mr Page, from New Jersey, said he was a 'selfish kid' but cancer changed him 'for the better' and made him appreciate how much his brother loved him.

'I was a very selfish and self-centred kid,' Mr Page said. 'I didn't realise at the time how big of a deal it was for him to go through all that pain to be donor.

'He was very easy going, very forgiving, whereas I was the complete opposite.

'Before he died, our relationship was so much better. He donated his stem cells without hesitation, he was happy to do it.

'I always felt that my brother didn't love me as much as my younger brother. But the truth is, my brother did love me, I just made it harder for him.'

Mr Page was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia when he was 19 years old in 2002.

He had begun feeling weak and tired, lost weight quickly, and suffered from severe back and chest pain.

Doctors initially dismissed the teenager with acid reflux and inflammation of the hear, but after his third visit they agreed to do blood tests to try and get to the bottom of the problem.

By this time, the pain was leaving Mr Page unable to sleep and bringing him to tears.

An oncologist took one look at his blood results and said he could have leukaemia and needed urgent treatment.

'I met an oncologist who travelled around to different hospitals,' Mr Page said.

'She looked at my blood work and told my parents I needed to be transferred immediately where my test results will take an hour not days.

'She told my parents that she thought I had leukaemia and she was right.

'After being transferred to a hospital in New Brunswick they did a bone marrow biopsy and I had AML leukaemia.

'I started chemotherapy immediately and received three different rounds. The first round wasn't too bad, and I went into remission.'

Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) is a rare type of blood cancer which starts in white blood cells as they're formed in the bone marrow.

It is thought to affect around 2,600 people a year in the UK and is more common in older people – most cases affect people over the age of 65.

Chemotherapy is the most common treatment for the cancer, and may sometimes be combined with a bone marrow transplant from a suitable donor.

Mr Page received a transplant from his older brother, Ryan, in November 2002, but Ryan then died on New Year's Eve 2006.

Mr Page now has two children, despite being told he would not be able to conceive naturally after all the chemotherapy: Ryan Julia and Olivia Victoria – and he works as a real estate agent.

Source and images: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-6413599/Father-35-survived-cancer-teenager-thanks-brothers-bone-marrow-transplant.html

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