Teenage blogger, Emily Clark from Cwmbran in Wales, is on a mission to sign up as many people to the register as possible while she searches for a donor.
Seventeen year old Emily was told last week that she needs a bone marrow transplant from a stranger after her cancer, Non Hodgkin (Burkitts) Lymphoma, had returned and tests revealed that her siblings were not a match.
Emily had previously blogged in support of Anthony Nolan and other families in need of a donor, not knowing that she would one day need a transplant herself.
Emily was first diagnosed with Lymphoma on December 20th last year after she noticed her stomach was swelling and her jeans became tighter. Scans later revealed it was cancer.
Emily said, “I’d never been to the GPs before. Being ill just didn’t happen to me, it was normally my brothers and sisters! It was just so much to take in; I knew it was going to change my life.”
“I love school, I’m a total nerd so it was just horrible to know I was missing out. With every needle they stuck in, it just sunk in even more.”
'I wanted to help young people in their fight and raise awareness'
Following four courses of chemotherapy, Emily was given the news she was clear of cancer on April 17th. It was after this news that Emily started blogging on her website Remission Possible to help other people going through similar journeys.
Emily said, “It was simply amazing to be told I was in remission. It seemed like a great place to start the blog from, 18th April 2014, and my first full day officially cancer free! It was such a long time coming.”
“I set up Remission Possible to thank everyone who helped me to be in remission and as the blog’s tagline says ‘Because you never chose the mission of cancer we all have to accept it and fight on’. I wanted to help young people in their fight and raise awareness so others can see the symptoms of cancer.”
While in remission, Emily began supporting campaigns for people who were searching for a match like the Help Hollie #pantsonyourhead campaign. Emily was encouraging others to join the Anthony Nolan register at the time, not knowing she would need a transplant herself a few months later.
— RemissionPossible (@RemissionPos) June 19, 2014
'Relapsing isn't the end of Remission Possible, it may be our true beginning'
Emily started to feel unwell again and was told she that her cancer had returned on Thursday 13th November. Emily had to put her plans to study medicine at university for a future career as a doctor on hold.
Emily said, “I was devastated, I had just applied to University and my life was getting back on track. Relapsing isn’t the end of Remission Possible, it may be our true beginning.
“I have no choice but to accept my new mission. This time we’re bringing out all the weaponry, guns blazing to kick this cancer’s ass, good and proper, and forever, not just for me, but for the 2,000 other people out there who need a transplant each year.”
In just one week since Emily’s blog announced she had relapsed and was looking for a donor, the Anthony Nolan website received 174 sign ups from Wales compared to 18 the week before.
Emily and her family
Emily’s mum Donna said, “When Emily was diagnosed with cancer our world changed in an instant. But I now feel empowered to make a difference by signing up as many people to the register as possible.
“I can’t thank enough every person who has signed up to the register for Emily and others like her. Together we can help Emily make another mission possible to beat cancer again.”
Ann O’Leary, Head of Register Development at Anthony Nolan, said: “Emily has been a selfless supporter of Anthony Nolan even before she needed a transplant by supporting other families in desperate need online. Emily is now reliant upon other strangers to join the register and pledge to save a life by donating their stem cells.
“What many people don’t realise is how easy it is to join the bone marrow register – it simply involves filling in a form and providing a saliva sample."
To sign up to the Anthony Nolan register click on the button below to fill out a short form, and tick ‘Remission Possible’ as your reason for joining.
You can also follow Emily on Facebook at Remission Possible