Amelia Topa, a young toddler in the North East of England, will be home just in time for Christmas after receiving a pioneering stem cell transplant to treat a rare combination of cancers.
Amelia’s parents noticed the first warning signs of their daughter’s illness when raised purple spots appeared across her body after she was born. It wasn’t long before little Amelia was diagnosed with two types of leukemia – acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and acute myeloid leukaemia.
Her mum, Kerri Paton, reflected on Amelia’s first transplant in 2017:
It’s rare enough to be born with leukaemia but to be born with a mix of two kinds is almost unheard of.
Doctors gave Amelia a bone marrow transplant using stem cells donated by a man aged between 16 and 30. The treatment worked and, by the following autumn, she was home and awaiting the arrival of her baby brother.
However, since the bone marrow transplant, tests showed that Amelia’s cancer had returned. After an intensive spell of chemotherapy she was given a second transplant, this time using umbilical cord blood stem cells, in June 2019.
The cord blood stem cell transplant had positive results and Amelia is now in remission, much to the relief of her family. They are now looking forward to bringing their daughter home in time for a happy Christmas.
Miss Paton said:
Amelia soared through the transplant and she’s doing really well now, I couldn’t be prouder. I hope Amelia’s story will help other families going through cancer – there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Amelia was also selected to receive a very special 'Cancer Research UK Children and Young People Star Award’ in recognition of the courage she showed since being diagnosed.