Evie Hodgson, 8, from North Yorkshire was diagnosed with very severe aplastic anaemia during the coronavirus lockdown. The only cure for this condition is a blood stem cell transplant.
Evie’s dad Andy, mum Tina and five-year-old brother William were all tested to see if they could donate but unfortunately they were not a match. Then some good news came: a blood stem cell donor match had been found. Evie started preparing for the transplant which was scheduled for early September 2020. Tragically, the family were later informed that the potential donor had removed their name from the register with weeks to go before her transplant date. Since receiving this news Evie’s world has been turned upside down.
Preparations for the transplant had already begun and Evie had undergone dental work and ovarian cryopreservation (ovary removal). This is because the chemotherapy involved in the ‘conditioning’ process would have likely made her infertile, so she had an ovary removed allowing her fertility options when she is older.
Evie’s long, blonde, curly, Rapunzel-like hair was also affected. Her response was: “Before it falls out can I donate it to charity?” and so she donated 12 inches of her hair and now sports a cute curly bob.
Quite the entertainer, Evie loves to sing which has proven to be her therapy through this traumatic time. She has even performed multiple concerts for the doctors, nurses and hospital staff in the hospital corridors where she is being treated!
Thankfully, a donor was found for Evie in December 2020 and she is currently recovering from her transplant. But Evie is one of the lucky ones, and there are still many other people who are searching for their lifesaving match right now.
Whilst Evie and her family are shielding, they are doing all they can to encourage people to join the blood stem cell register.
By requesting a swab kit, you will help give hope to a family like the Hodgsons and could potentially one day save a life.