Debi Schuiling

 In Survivor stories

In July 2001 I was diagnosed with leukemia. My chances seemed slim. The cancer had spread to my central nervous system and after diagnosis I was not even allowed home. I was booked in and treatment began immediately.

The next two years of my life were the hardest. My daughter Maxine was only six and my son Finley was two and a half. I spent a lot of time in hospital and seemed to pick up every infection possible. It took many searches and disappointments before a donor was found for me.

My husband, Bob, started a drive for donors and arranged for various doctors and nurses to collect blood from people willing to become donors. We are involved in a private school and the parents were amazing. Many people become donors and people prayed constantly for me! Bob put together a cycling team called the Miles for Marrow team and up until today these riders and more have joined the cause of making people aware of the need for donors.

I was transplanted in May 2002. After transplant I got sick with CMV, which lead to various complications. My weight dropped, I was constantly ill and my liver was suffering. At times I was sure that I would not survive. The journey to recovery included tears, fear, laughter, disappointments, celebrations and endless waiting.

I am a cancer survivor. I am healthy, do not take any medication and love life more than ever before!