There’s someone out there who has the power to save Kate Raftery’s life. But right now, they probably have no idea.
The Adelaide mother-of-two has acute myeloid leukaemia. Her best hope of beating it lies in a bone marrow transplant. But the hard part is finding a match. There are 28 million people on bone marrow donor registries worldwide, but a match can only be found among someone of similar ethnic heritage.
Raftery’s mother is Hungarian-born, while her father’s family is white Australian, probably originally from England or Scotland. That greatly reduces her chances.
But Raftery – mum to Asher, five, and Izzy, two – is staying optimistic.
“I’m hoping for the best outcome but I’m preparing for the worst outcome,” she tells Mamamia.
Raftery was diagnosed with leukaemia in the middle of last year. She’d been sick for months, and put it down to all the illnesses her daughter was bringing home after starting at childcare. Then she got really sick.
“I had a really bizarre fever and a really horrendous cough,” she remembers. “I walked across the road at work and I almost couldn’t make it back – that’s how exhausted I was. I was having trouble breathing.
“I looked at myself in the mirror and I thought, ‘You’ve lost weight. You look really horrendous.”