BIRTHDAY wishes certainly came true for Burton leukaemia sufferer Katherine Sinfield.
The reception class teacher who is the face of the Mail’s ‘Take Five Minutes’ campaign was discharged from hospital on Tuesday - her 33rd birthday.
After more than seven weeks of intensive treatment at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, Katherine, from Balfour Street, was given the green-light to leave.
But as Katherine explains, this is just the closure of the first chapter of what could be a very long book.
She said: “I was thrilled to get the news that I could go home - I had my doubts whether this day would ever arrive.
“I’ve got my list of follow-up clinic dates in Birmingham - the first of which is Thursday - and I will have daily visits from specialist nurses to change my dressings and check my Hickman Line.
“The results of these clinic visits will determine what happens next. Remember the eventual aim is to undergo a bone marrow transplant.
“While home, I will be taking loads of tablets and medicines including anti-cancer drugs, and I will have to carry an emergency medical card incase I feel ill at any time. I am still immensely prone to infection so I am limited to what I can do, where I can go and who I can see.”
Since the Mail launched its Take Five Minutes campaign, Katherine has been calling on readers to give blood and sign up to the bone marrow register.
She added: “This hasn’t been a campaign about me just to help me, this is a campaign to raise awareness and help anybody who finds themselves in a similar position.
“You simply do not realise until you are told you need a transplant or that you need three of four bags of blood and platelets in a day, how vital these services are to thousands of patients.
“I’ve learned a lot about leukaemia while being a patient for 51 days and I cannot emphasise enough how vital the services are of charities such as Cure Leukaemia and the Anthony Nolan Trust.”
A bone marrow transplant is the only cure for Katherine and so the search has begun to find her a match.
To find out more about he NHS British Bone Marrow Registry, for people aged between 18 and 49 years old, call 03001 232323.
The other method is through the Anthony Nolan Trust, for people aged 16 to 30, by visiting www.anthonynolan.org