We love to see our stories in Reveal Magazine – it’s one of the best glossy, celeb weekly magazines. They’re incredibly sensitive and the stories always look lovely on the page. Here we have Katie, who was sadly diagnosed with cancer as a teenager. There was only one option – a bone marrow transplant. And the best chances of success were if the marrow came from a close blood relative.
At this stage, Katie’s three adoring sisters stepped up, eager to be tested and hoping to save their sister’s life. Only one sister was a match – little Ginny, the youngest. For Ginny to be the only match was the last thing Katie wanted, she was only nine at the time. But Ginny was fearless – all she wanted was to see her sister healthy again.
And so the transplant happened. It was incredibly traumatic for both sisters but it was a success and Katie is now planning her future, all thanks to her little sis.
It’s the kind of story that makes you want to ring your sibling and let them know you love them. You can read the full story by clicking more.
Katie Buckley, 20, had six weeks to live. Her three sisters all wanted to be the one to save her life, but Katie really didn’t want it to be little Ginny…
As my sisters and I fought over who would be first to hold our new baby sister, I was mesmerized. Mum placed Ginny in my arms and in that moment I knew I’d always want to look after her.
What I never expected was that one day, Ginny would have to look after me – she’d go so far as to save my life.
My sisters Sam, 23, Charlotte, 18, Ginny, 15, and I did everything together.
Sam was the caring one, Charlotte was a perfectionist. Ginny was a tough cookie – if she fell over, she was always straight back on her feet.
We’d spend our summers at a caravan park, cycling through a forest and having barbecues. When Ginny started high school, she had three big sisters there to show her around and help her with her homework.
But when I was 15, everything changed.
I’d been suffering from swollen glands, ulcers, bleeding gums and cold shivers. One gland in my leg was so swollen I’d limp around in agony.
In June 2009, I was diagnosed with an incredibly rare variant of blood cancer, acute myeloid leukemia.
I was scared. I started chemotherapy straight away. After each cycle, I was given a lumber puncture, to test the results of the chemo. Although I was under general anesthetic, I woke up afterwards in incredible pain. I felt like I’d been kicked in the back by a horse. It was a pain I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.
Ginny would just hold my hand, lost for words. She was only ten years old then.
I promised myself I’d get better, for her sake, so she’d always have her three big sisters to take care of her and everything could go back to normal.
By November 2009, I was in remission, but just a year later, doctors told me the cancer was back and it was worse.
‘Your only option is a bone marrow transplant,’ the doctor advised. ‘There’s no time to spare. If we don’t find a match in six weeks, the leukemia will spread to your spine and brain.’
He explained how we could appeal for a match, or we could test family members. My parents could only hope to be a 50% match, so it fell to my sisters, who had a higher chance of being a perfect match.
‘We’ll do it,’ my sisters said in unison.
I was humbled – but I knew what it entailed. If one of my sisters was a match, she would need 11 lumber punctures in one go.
Because Charlotte and Sam were older, I could face letting them go through that, but not Ginny. She was just a child.
‘We all want to be the one who saves your life!’ they laughed as they prepared to be tested.
It was Ginny who was the perfect match.
‘I’m just worried it won’t work,’ she said. She didn’t care for her own welfare – she just wanted to help me. I assured her if it didn’t work it wasn’t her fault.
It took ten days of intensive chemotherapy to wipe out all of my own bone marrow.
Meanwhile, Ginny had 11 lumber punctures to remove some of her bone marrow. She never complained, and I knew exactly how much pain she was in.
Ginny’s bone marrow was then transfused into me.
I spent six weeks in isolation at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital while I recovered and then it was declared that the transfusion had been a success.
As I was in hospital, I bought Ginny a necklace inscribed with ‘I love you sister’ and had it delivered to our house on her birthday.
Ginny saved my life. If she hadn’t been my match, we might not have found a donor in time. She’s my littlest sister with the biggest heart.