Madalayna Ducharme (provided by Tamara Ducharme)

Baby Madalayna Receives Transplant, Faces More Hurdles

The parents of a Windsor baby girl who needed a bone marrow transplant after she was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder are keeping their fingers crossed.

Madalayna Ducharme received her transplant Friday, but family friend Nicole Ramage says she is not quite out of the woods yet.

“They have to continue to monitor her, and it’s generally between day 14 and 27 that they’ll find out if the transplant was a success,” says Ramage. “It wouldn’t be her body that would reject the bone marrow. It would be the bone marrow that would reject her body. The bone marrow is going to say ‘wow, I don’t recognize this place. Where am I?'”

Madalayna’s big brother Henrik is the donor.

Hundreds of Windsor residents took part in a series of swabbing clinics to find the right match for Madalayna. Malignant infantile osteopetrosis causes the bones to grow too dense, pushing out bone marrow. It can lead to vision, lung and hearing problems, and is life threatening if untreated. The only known cure is bone marrow transplant.

Right now, Madalayna is in isolation at Sick Kids’ Hospital in Toronto. Ramage says she underwent eight days of chemotherapy before the transplant and her parents are exhausted.

“They’re trying to see the light at the end of the tunnel,” she says.

Ramage is also organizing a pasta dinner to raise funds for the family. The fundraiser is at Parkwood Gospel Temple in Windsor on April 1 between 4pm and 8pm. Tickets for adults are $15, $10 for children and kids under five are free.

In addition to travel expenses, Madalayna’s parents have been off work.

She also says the family is grateful for all the support they have received over the past few months.

“She’s getting so much prayer and so much support from the community,” says Ramage.

Madalayna’s mother, Tamara Ducharme went public with her daughter’s illness in January, and since then has received messages of support from across the country.