A MOTHER-OF-TWO is in a race against time to find a Latin American donor after being diagnosed with a rare form of blood cancer.
Ruby Cruz of Boundary Road, Walthamstow, is searching for a bone marrow donor but it is proving difficult as she is from an ethnic minority.
Mrs Cruz, 37, was born in El Salvador and spent most of her life in Australia before moving to London nine years ago to work as a social worker.
After noticing a lump behind her ear last summer, she was sent for a scan and was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia/lymphoma.
Although Mrs Cruz has been responding well to chemotherapy, her best chance of beating the disease is finding a match.
She said: “I don’t have a lot of time to sit around waiting for a donor and I am undergoing chemo at the moment.
“It has killed most of the cancer but the doctors say there is a high chance of the cancer returning so my best chance of curing it is to find a donor.
“It will be very difficult to find a match for me and I am worried but I am also optimistic.
“I want to encourage Latin American people in the borough to register as a donor. It is just a swab and is so simple to do and doesn’t cost anything.
“It is an amazing opportunity to save somebody’s life.”
Around 30 per cent of people find a donor match in their family but none have been found in Mrs Cruz’s family.
Although she has been undergoing treatment since November Mrs Cruz spent Christmas with her husband Sam Seddon, 43, and their children Daniel, two-and-a-half, and Sofia, one.
Mrs Cruz and her family have organised a number of events in the past few months to encourage people to register as donors.
Even if she doesn’t find a match for herself, she takes comfort in the thought she may be finding a donor for another cancer patient through her efforts.
She said: “Daniel doesn’t understand why I keep going back to hospital. He thought I fell out of bed and the doctors are going to make me better. But as time passes he is really missing me.
“I want to raise awareness about the importance for everyone to register as a donor.
“It is very comforting knowing I am possibly finding a donor for somebody else. If it is not me then it may be somebody else who will benefit.”
For more information about Mrs Cruz's campaign #RegisterforRuby click here.