• Oxley family can’t wait to get back home

    FULL OF LIFE: Now nine months old, Ellie Ciavarella and her family are keen to get back to life in Wangaratta.

    Merryn Ciavarella admits she and her family are “really missing home”, as they await the all clear from doctors for daughter Ellie’s departure from Melbourne.

    Nine month old Ellie received donor stem cells from father Tony during a procedure in December last year, and doctors are keen to stabilise her condition before she’s allowed to go home for any lengthy stay.

    Merryn said the family stayed for a couple of nights with Tony’s parents, Cyril and Jan, last week, and returned to Melbourne rejuvenated.

    Ellie is battling the same illness as her big brother, Charlie, whose plight was first brought to the attention of locals in 2014 as he sought treatment for a rare genetic immune condition.

    Charlie underwent a bone marrow transplant as an 18 month old, and Ellie was diagnosed in the womb with STAT1 loss of function mutation.

    When an international search of the bone marrow registry and cord blood bank could not find a good match for Ellie, Tony volunteered to donate his stem cells, which took place in December when Ellie was four months old.

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