Woman’s gift to save sister’s life

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A WOMAN from Preesall is having a transplant process that will hopefully save her sister’s life.

Shelley Watson has been growing extra stem cells so that she can donate to her younger sister Heather Parkinson, 27, who has been having intensive chemotherapy in preparation for the transplant this week.

Heather has Hodgkin’s Lymphoma which is failing to respond to treatment and her only hope is the transplant for which Shelley, age 30, has agreed to be the donor.

Doctors gave the sisters the go ahead for the procedure after super strength chemotherapy was successful in killing off enough of Heather’s cancer for her to undergo the transplant.

Heather has been at Manchester’s Christie Hospital having strong chemotherapy to kill off her own immune system.

Shelley, of Preesall, went into hospital this week to be given drugs to encourage her body to grow extra stem cells and will be attached to a machine which will collect her blood and skim off the cells ready to donate to her sister.

Heather will then be given Shelley’s stem cells and as she will have no immune system of her own, it is hoped her body will be re-programmed with Shelley’s immune system and will no longer allow the cancer to grow in her body.

Sheila Parkinson, 62, Heather’s mum, says it is a very emotional time for her seeing both daughters go into hospital for treatment and that everyone is pinning their hopes on this procedure curing Heather’s cancer.

Sheila, who lives in Lostock Hall, said: “The last couple of years have been very emotional with Heather’s illness and this transplant is what we have been working towards.

“Heather will be very poorly before and after the transplant as she will have no immune system and will be prone to infections.

“We just all hope the transplant is successful and gives Heather her life back as she has been through so much.”