Donor hope for brave Catherine

A LOCAL mum has spoken of the overwhelming response from members of the public after an appeal to encourage people to register with Anthony Nolan.

Samantha Melrose spoke to the Buchanie after her 16-year-old daughter Catherine was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia in January.

Three months on, Samantha has given an update on Catherine’s condition and what the future holds.

She said: “Catherine has now finished two rounds of chemotherapy, which is normal for patients.

“Unfortunately, Catherine’s was unsuccessful, but that is to be expected in around 40 per cent of patients with the particular type of leukaemia Catherine has.

“However, me and Catherine flew to Birmingham on Wednesday, April 17 to meet a Leukaemia Consultant who has done experimental work with leukaemia patients who have not reached remission.

“Even just five years ago, there would be no other treatments available for patients whose chemotherapy was unsuccessful, however the consultant we saw has had some success using stem cell transplants in young and otherwise healthy patients like Catherine.”

There is a ray of hope for the Melrose family as Samantha revealed: “There is a donor for Catherine in Germany and she has been scheduled for a transplant at the end of May but we are hoping to bring it forward.”

Since January, Samantha has been busy organising donor days and fundraising charity events.

She said: “We managed to arrange two donor days recently and worked in partnership with Anthony Nolan.

“These were very successful as we managed to get 57 new donors from Robert Gordon University and 117 at Banff and Buchan Technical College.

“At the RGU donor day, Emma from Anthony Nolan took time out to visit Catherine and gave her a goody bag full of merchandise.”

Samantha also revealed their fundraising success as she explained: “To date we have managed to raise £10,000 for Anthony Nolan and we will also raise £3,000 for Macmillan Nurses.

She arranged her biggest fundraising event - a Ladies Night which was held on Friday in aid of Anthony Nolan.

There have been multiple other events held previously as Samantha explained: “Friends and family have held a sponsored archery shoot, a body wax and shave, sponsored swim, craft fair, coffee morning and three friends are going to be running the Baker Hughes 10k.

Samantha added: “We would like to thank everyone for all their help and support, it really has been overwhelming.”

For more information or to register on the donor list visit