Bone Marrow Transplant Journey of Melda Ruiters

My name is Melda Ruiters and I am a bone marrow transplant survivor.

In January 2016 I was diagnosed with a type of blood cancer called multiple myeloma. I was on chemotherapy once a week for eight months and went into heart failure, kidneys weren’t functioning properly and suffered double pneumonia. My doctor then decided to board me from work as things weren’t looking good at the time. September 2016 I then undergone a bone marrow transplant at Netcare Kuilsriver Hospital. I recovered tremendously and I am in remission for six years now and to date my doctor still cannot believe how well I have recovered. I am still on chronic medication and still see my doctor every third month for regular blood tests.

Prior to being diagnosed with the multiple myeloma one of my biggest hobbies were road running. I took part in numerous marathons, half marathons and 10km races in various provinces. In 2015 I entered for the Two Oceans Ultra Marathon (56km) however I couldn’t run the race due to health issues but today I am back on the road having completed three Two Oceans Half Marathons and one Cape Town Marathon after my bone marrow transplant. I am truly grateful for the gift of life and having a second chance in life making use of every opportunity to live my life to the fullest all though I have my on and off days being able to open my eyes each day is a blessing.

I joined the SATSA (South African Transplant Sports Association) group is which is a nonprofit organisation in February 2017 as a bone marrow transplant recipient. This year July 2022 I got the opportunity to participate in the National Transplant Games which was held in Gqeberha. I took part in the 5km road race as well as the 3km power walk. I qualified at the Games for the 3km power walk and I am honoured and humbled to be part of the South African Transplant Team that will be going to Perth Australia in April 2023 to participate in the World Transplant Games. The hard work has already begun and I am hoping to make our country proud and come back home with a medal. In future I would like to participate in more events at the World Transplant Games which occurs every second year. If you would like to get involved in my journey please feel free to get in touch with me.

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