Charlotte was unwell for the most part of 2012. The fun loving little girl of seven had flu symptoms, stomach pains and problems with her back. In August of that year, Charlotte had an operation to remove some of her bone marrow for testing. Some tissue was tested immediately, but doctors also froze the remaining tissue in the Queensland Children’s Tumour Bank at the children’s hospital.
Four weeks later, that frozen tissue was urgently required for further diagnosis after doctors had seen in Charlotte’s DNA that her type of leukaemia did not have a very good outcome, even after aggressive treatment.
Without the tissue held by the Tumour Bank, Charlotte, already weakened by her leukaemia and subsequent chemotherapy, would have needed to undergo another anaesthetic and painful bone marrow removal.
The new, and timely, diagnosis from Charlotte’s frozen tissue meant that she did not have to endure a further round of chemotherapy. Charlotte would immediately receive a bone marrow transplant. A long and intense treatment followed. Charlotte took twice as long to recover than most patients; spending 100 days in the transplant unit. But Charlotte did recover, and she went from strength to strength. She is now back home with her family, being a kid and having fun, with regular trips to the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital for testing.
Make no mistake, for Charlotte and many other little patients, the Tumour Bank saves lives.
Charlotte is now home with her family; happy just being a kid, but this little girl endured months of tests and treatments. The Tumour Bank found the answers that changed everything.