Help Jo Survive

Prime Minister is last hope for mother's relapse of Leukemia

Must See 15/10/2018

A new mum fighting leukaemia has received the support of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who is calling on Kiwis to join the bone marrow donor registry.

Jo Mitchell was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2013 at the age of just 26; fighting the disease for three years before being cleared in 2016.

Since then, she and her partner Tim Lomas got married, moved houses and, in June, welcomed their baby Quinn to the world.

But only weeks later, the new mother was diagnosed with a relapse in Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia, and is struggling to find a donor for a bone marrow transplant.

Due to being half Chinese and half Caucasian, finding the right match is difficult. Medical professionals are searching a global list of donors, but it can be like looking for a needle in a haystack.

"We also don't really have any other options to be honest, as the doctors and specialists have told us that a bone marrow transplant is essential due to the fact Jo has relapsed," said Mr Lomas, reports NZME. "We want Jo to live and see our son grow old, and to experience all the joys of parenthood."

While their friends and families have rallied around the couple, they are now going public, launching a website to share their story and encourage people to register as a bone marrow donor.

"With frequent hospital stays and Jo's immunity and energy dipping, Tim has put his career on hold and is caring for both Jo and baby Quinn," the website says.

The couple have also got the support of the Prime Minister, who posted on Instagram on Saturday saying she knew Ms Mitchell and the importance of finding a donor.

She also called on Kiwis to join the bone marrow donor registry when donating blood.

"Please, spread the word. You could help save a life," said Ms Ardern.