Rose-Leigh Usher

 In Survivor stories

How quickly one’s life can be turned upside down. In June 2012 after eight year old Rose-Leigh Usher had complained of severe abdominal cramps and her mom had also noticed red spots on her face and bruising she was diagnosed with Hepatosplenomegaly Lymphoma, a very rare form of cancer. Her mom, Rosemary, says the news came as such a shock especially when the doctors gave her daughter 6 months to live. Rose-Leigh had always been an active little girl who loved dancing, swimming, karate and playing with her friends and now she was even too ill to attend school.

Her best chance of survival was a bone marrow stem cell transplant. Her siblings were found not to be a match but with the help of the SABMR a suitable donor was found overseas. Getting stem cells from an overseas donor comes at a huge expense and the family is extremely grateful to all the people who raised money towards the costs. Time was running out and with more money needed there was an appeal on eTV and SABC 1 & 2. Thankfully Rose-Leigh and her mom were able to make the journey from Durban to Cape Town for this life-saving procedure. It would be months before she and her mom would be able to return home, but Rosemary, feeling very alone and despondent so far from home will not forget the kindness of the couple who ran the CHOC House where she stayed. She also has only praise for all the medical teams both in Cape Town and Durban and is most grateful to God for Rose-Leigh’s miraculous recovery. “God is good” is what Rose-Leigh has to say as she fast approaches her teenage years.