First birthday for Windsor’s ‘warrior princess’ after lifesaving transplant – Windsor Star

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Madalayna Ducharme is celebrating her first birthday, on Aug, 22, 2017. She’s shown recently in a family pool.Courtesy of the Ducharme family / Windsor Star

Bowling for Bone Marrow fundraiser Saturday

To support the families of those who need astem cell/bone marrow transplant, head to this weekends 12th annual Bowling for Bone Marrow Throw a Strike for the Gift of Life.

The Katelyn Bedard Bone Marrow Association fundraiser is Saturday at Rose Bowl Lanes with a noon check-in time and bowling between 1 and 3 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome and the cost is $20 without a pledge form.Children under age 12 get in free and there will be a clown and childrens activities.

To register, call (519) 564-4119 or go online atwww.givemarrow.net/index.html.

Windsors warrior princess Madalayna Ducharme celebrates her first birthday Tuesday.

Were so happy and grateful that weve had her for a year, her mom, Tamara Ducharme, said Monday. I know back at the six-month mark we had a little celebration for her just in case we didnt have a year birthday.

On March 17, little Madalayna received a bone marrow transplant to save her from a rare genetic disorder.

Madalayna will get to try cake for the first time, even if its just for her tiny fingers to play in, and her mom plans to go live on Facebook in the late afternoon for the approximately 3,000 supportive followers on the Miracle for Madalaynasite.

I cant believe how many people love her and support us. It makes us so happy, Ducharme said. We could be going through this alone. I feel like there are 3,000 fighters in our corner.

Madalayna, dubbed the warrior princess, was just two months old when doctors noticed issues that a few months later would be diagnosed as malignant infantile osteopetrosis which leads toabnormal thickening of the bone. Without treatment, the one-in-200,000 genetic disorder would dramatically reduce the infants life expectancy.

The Windsor community rallied around the family, and there were efforts made to get more people to join the bone marrow registry. Ducharme said shes thankful for the support from the Katelyn Bedard Bone Marrow Association. She said getting swabbed for the registry wasnt just for Madalayna but to help all those waiting for a match.

Because of the genetic disorder, at first doctors werent looking to family members for a match but Madalaynas two-year-old brother Henrik proved a perfect match and doctors consulted in the United States and Europe agreed his bone marrow was the familys best option.

The family didnt get Madalayna home from Toronto and London hospitals until July, and the little warrior fought off a virus that is worrisome with transplant patients, her mom said. So far, blood tests are looking good but the family wont know until after more extensive tests later this week in Toronto whether the transplant is working.

Ducharme is asking for prayers for good news in Toronto. The transplant is as close to a cure as possible, she said. Madalayna may have hearing and sight issues from the disease, but if the bones look better and the transplant is working, it gives her a chance at a longer life. Ducharme has heard of a man who had the disease and a transplant as a baby and is now 25 years old.

Madalyna, who loves music and looks like a princess in her tutu and frilly dresses, is a bit delayed with all that shes been through, but a week ago she sat up for the first time and she likes to dance by bouncing and swaying to techno music. She still needs the tube in her nose and doesnt like drinking liquids and isnt eating properly. Shes improving but her mom doesnt know what her baby will think of birthday cake.

Were excited.

shill@postmedia.com

twitter.com/winstarhill

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First birthday for Windsor’s ‘warrior princess’ after lifesaving transplant – Windsor Star

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