Maternal: At age 4, Luisa is looking for a marrow donor; know how to help


A persistent fever took the parents of Luisa Queiroz, 4, to the emergency room in March of this year. Concerned about the coronavirus, they were frightened by the result of the blood count, which showed the number of white blood cells almost 50 times greater than the reference value for the daughter’s age.

As doctors, they quickly realized that the situation was serious. “The desire is to scream, scream and cry compulsively, but as our daughter was active and alert in front of us, we tried to remain as firm as possible so that she wouldn’t worry at that moment”, says her mother, Elisa Queiroz, 37.

Luisa was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and had to go through numerous hospitalizations to undergo chemotherapy sessions, blood transfusions and fight some infections along the way.

In November, the leukemia went into remission, but two weeks ago some tests showed that the disease returned, indicating transplantation as the only way out for her case.

Despite the heavy treatment, Elisa says that Lulu, as she is called by her family, is very understanding. About her hair loss, she jokes that now she looks even more like her maternal grandfather, who is bald. “We always tell the truth in a playful way. We say that a very mean little animal has been living in her bloodstream, and that he is afraid of the hospital. So, there is a safe place for her,” he explains.

Regarding medications, the mother says that serums have superpowers. “When the pain is weak, she asks Robin, which is dipyrone. But when it is too strong, she asks Batman, which is morphine”.

Tinkerbell’s magic powder comes into play when she needs to sleep for a more invasive procedure and all infusion machines have nicknames too. “Her soul has never been sick, as she is still the same Luisa, playing and smiling all the time”, says her mother.

To receive a new marrow, Luisa now undergoes immunotherapy. There are 29 days of medication with more intense side effects, but that should prepare your body while waiting for a compatible donor to perform the transplant.


To become a bone marrow donor, you must be between 18 and 35 years old. At first, it is necessary to fill out a form and donate a small blood sample to a Blood Center.

If you are in São Paulo, you can register at Santa Casa de Misericórdia. Scheduling is done by calling (11) 2176-7249. Unifesp Hospital also receives donors. Just call (11) 5576-4240.

Other sites across the country are listed on the Redome (National Register of Voluntary Bone Marrow Donors) website.

Since marrow compatibility is determined by genetics, you have to wait for the system to find a compatible patient. If so, you will be asked to take a new blood sample and confirm compatibility. The donor database is worldwide, meaning your donation can save a life anywhere in the world.

“Remember to always update your data, as the compatible patient can appear at any time in your life and you must be found quickly”, advises Redome.

Upon being called to donate, new tests will be performed and it will be decided whether the collection will be through apheresis (by filtering the blood) or by puncture in the pelvic bone.

In the first mode, the donor takes a medication for five days to increase stem cell production. On the sixth day, the blood is filtered by a machine that removes the stem cells and returns the blood to the veins.

In the second, the collection is carried out through the pelvis bone. The procedure takes 60 minutes and is performed under anesthesia.


HIV/AIDS carriers;
Hepatitis B and C carriers;
People who have or have already had some type of cancer;
People who have autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, vitiligo, Guillain-Barre syndrome, Purpura, antiphospholipid syndrome, Sjogren’s syndrome, Crohn’s disease, and ankylosing spondylitis;

People who have Epilepsy;
Carriers of STD, with the exception of Herpes, HPV, Chlamydia and Syphilis. The information is from Ameo (Bone Marrow Association).


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