Hope in Avery's leukaemia battle after marrow transplant
ONE-YEAR-OLD Avery Beal has been through more than most people will in a life time.
The Buderim toddler has been fighting for her life after being diagnosed with leukaemia almost a year ago.
Less than 10 days ago Avery underwent a bone marrow transplant thanks to an anonymous donor.
Avery's father David said the youngster was recovering well and was returning to her normal self.
But the road ahead is long, and the Beals will have to wait till August 30 to find out if the transplant was a success.
The transplant was a last resort after the leukaemia cells in Avery's body multiplied, despite intensive treatments.
Mr Beal said the next few days were "particularly crucial" as they find out whether the graft of cells have begun to work.
"The transplant went really well, though it is still early days and anything is still possible," he said.
"Following the third round of treatment in Avery's protocol they discovered the leukaemia cells had increased in number, and meant there was a much higher chance this would happen again in the future.
"Avery's best chance of being cured of leukaemia was to have this transplant."
Mr Beal said the success rate for a bone marrow transplant was about 30%, which was not particularly high.
"A lot of people relapse within the first 12 months of the transplant - with the first 3-6 months after the transplant being the most high risk time for this to occur of all.
"Once she has got beyond the 12 month barrier, leukaemia free, her chances do significantly increase.
"As a family we are obviously praying that there will be no relapse, but it is a reality we have to be prepared to deal with if it does happen."
Mr Beal said the process of the bone marrow transplant was an experience within itself. He said his family were all tested to see if any of them were a match for the transplant, but none were.
"(It's) amazing considering we have six kids," he said.
"There is an international bone marrow donor list that doctors are able to access and from this list a suitable donor was found from somewhere overseas.
"The donor then had to have an operation to have blood stem cells removed from their bone marrow, frozen and then flown over to Australia, just in time for the transplant to happen in Brisbane.
"The transplant itself was not invasive for Avery as it was similar to a normal blood transfusion, but it was still a very significant moment for us."
Mr Beal said the Coast community had been "incredible" and continued to be so.
"Since the last article (in the Daily) we have had a number of people help out with cleaning and gardening and it has made such a difference for me with all the other things I have to deal with."