Morecambe teen prepares for bone marrow transplant

Thousands of pounds has been raised for a battling teenager who faces a life-saving bone marrow transplant.

Thursday, 14th May 2015, 12:00 pm
Rachel Simpson.

Rachel Simpson has been diagnosed with a mutated GATA2 gene which, if untreated will lead to leukaemia, a form of blood cancer which can kill.

The 15-year-old was recently told of a matching donor being found in America for her transplant.

A fundraising event at Rachel’s school Heysham High raised £3,437 for her recovery process.

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Rachel chopped off her beautiful long red hair to help fund a special wig for her during chemotherapy.

Hundreds turned up to the Rachel’s Recovery event and mum Donna Simpson is overwhelmed by the support from the community and friends.

“We feel very grateful for all the support, the support has been amazing, the school has been fantastic, it was a huge success,” said Donna.

Donna also thanked Heysham High School and Great Wood primary school, who recently held a non-uniform day for Rachel’s campaign.

Although Rachel has been trying to live a normal life as much as possible, she has been suffering from swelling on her legs, which has spread to her bowels.

But the laid back pupil has not allowed her condition to stop her from living life to the full.

After the news of her transplant donor Rachel celebrated by being a mascot at Morecambe Football Club’s final game of the season and being front row at the Morecambe Carnival pop concert.

Donna said: “Rachel is a bit overwhelmed by everything.

“The plan was she wanted to take all her hair off but she was advised to just get it cut very short.

“She is very strong and I am extremely proud of her.”

The wig for Rachel will cost thousands and will be made from real hair to make it look and feel as real as possible,

Donna said it is difficult to achieve the balance of letting her daughter live her life to the full without risking tremendous pain.

She said: “She has put herself back a bit doing all the work and because of that she has had to go on more pain killers, because the pain was really bad we had to up her tablets.

“It is a difficult one between letting her do things and knowing it is going to cause her pain afterwards.

“But we have got to let her live her life.”

Rachel will undergo her transplant at the end of May or June depending on the timing of the marrow being harvested. The majority of funds raised will go towards a wig and the stay at Manchester Children’s hospital.