Woman ready to get life back on track after finding bone-marrow match

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A woman from this province got the news Tuesday she’s been waiting more than two months to hear.

Renee Martineau

Renee Martineau was told a match for a bone marrow transplant she needs to fight a rare form of leukemia had been found.

The bone marrow transplant co-ordinator at the Health Sciences Centre in St. John’s delivered the news.

“I’m feeling great right now,” the Corner Brook woman said from the hospital Wednesday morning.

“It’s time to get back on track.”

Martineau and her partner of nearly four years, Laura Brake, moved to St. John’s this past fall to pursue employment opportunities.

In November Martineau found out that she had blood cancer after developing an infection in her left leg while working offshore.

She spent six weeks at the Health Sciences undergoing chemotherapy following the diagnosis before the illness was deemed in remission.

She is receiving chemotherapy aimed at keeping the cancer at bay. But the only real cure is to undergo a bone marrow transplant.

Martineau was originally told it could take two to three months to find a match in a search that would start locally and then spread nationally and internationally.

As the time started to wear on, Martineau said, she was getting concerned.

“(I was) certainly getting a little bit worried that there might not be one, because apparently that does happen,” she said. “But it’s all good now.”

Martineau doesn’t know anything about the match, or where the person is from.

“All we know right now is that there is a donor available and it’s a nine out of 10 match.”

Martineau said because of the rarity of her cancer, she was told they wouldn’t even look for a 10.

On March 5, Martineau will learn more when she meets with a doctor from Halifax in St. John’s. After that she’ll have to travel twice to Halifax, where the transplant will be done. One trip will be for a consultation and the other for the transplant.

In the meantime, she’s been feeling good, other than spending 11 days in hospital between chemo treatments to treat a small infection in her leg.

After all she’s been through, Martineau remains positive and said “it was nothing too serious. It was just minor.”


The Western Star

Organizations: Health Sciences Centre

Geographic location: Corner Brook, Halifax, Western Star

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