Charlie battles on, ‘still full of beans’

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Bone marrow transplant recipient Charlie Ciavarella turns two today.

AFTER six months in Melbourne Charlie Ciavarella’s battle against illness continues.

The Oxley toddler, who turns two today, was discharged from the Royal Children’s Hospital after his bone marrow transplant on September 28, but developed Graft Versus Host Disease (GVHD) which requires photophoresis treatment two or three times a week as an outpatient.

Frustratingly, the treatments for GVHD (medications and photophoresis) suppress Charlie’s immune system, so while he strives to build a new immune system after his bone marrow transplant, the treatment depletes the cells he makes.

Charlie’s parents Tony and Merryn are still unsure how long they will be in Melbourne but are thankful that at least now, with careful management, they can all go home for a few days every now and then to be with the family.

“Charlie has been doing pretty well but we still have to be based in Melbourne,” Tony told the Wangaratta Chronicle this week.

“His graft host seems to be being managed pretty well and if that continues they may be able to reduce his drugs.

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