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Show goes on for donor as life-changing op is delayed

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: November 24, 2012

Jane Williams from Dunvant, has been suited as a bone marrow donor to a girl in Germany but the operation has had to be delayed, as Jane is performing in The Sound of Music at The Grand Theatre

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THE wait is almost over for a woman who is hoping to undergo a life-changing operation.

And having waited so long for a bone marrow transplant, a few extra days is going to make no difference.

Her operation has been scheduled so that the donor, Jane Williams, can first perform in The Sound of Music.

Mrs Williams, from Dunvant, is a member of theatre company The Abbey Players, whose production of the family musical has been running at the Grand Theatre this week.

And after the final performance this evening , the mum-of-two will begin preparing herself for hormone treatment next week, ahead of the potentially life-changing operation.

She said: "I give blood regularly, and have been on the bone marrow register for some years.

"Then earlier this year, I was contacted by the bone marrow registry to say they had found I was a possible match for someone, a 20-year-old girl from Germany.

"If I was suitable they told me the operation would take place at the end of the year.

"The news came after the show had been cast. I felt it would sound so petty if I said I couldn't do it because I was in a show, but they told me they were happy to wait just a little bit later. They have to time it correctly as the treatment of the woman who will receive the bone marrow has to coincide with the treatment I receive."

The slight delay to starting treatment means Mrs Williams, who works as disability officer at the university, has been able to indulge her passion for treading the boards.

It was while performing in the 1980s that she met her future husband, Adrian, and this week she has been playing the role of Mother Abbess.

The 47-year-old added: "It has been going really well, and I have been really enjoying it.

"I'll be starting the hormones next week. I'll be having injections before hand, but I'm not a squeamish person, and then the operation should be the week after.

"My family are worrying about me, but I am sure it is completely safe, and the medical staff take wonderful care of you.

"The hormone treatment will stimulate my own bone marrow to over produce, and I will feel a difference in my bones, as the extra bone marrow develops.

"And hopefully it will transform the life of the person waiting for my bone marrow. If anything else comes from this, I hope that other people will consider putting themselves on the bone marrow register.

"There are people who desperately need a transplant, and it can change their lives.

"But I haven't been able to think about it too much yet as I've been involved in the show."

To find out more about becoming a bone marrow donor, visit: www.nhsbt.nhs.uk/bonemarrow

The Sound of Music by The Abbey Players at the Grand Theatre finishes today.

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