A week before her wedding Regina Batten went to the doctor to get some antibiotics to clear up her flu. Within 24-hours the bride-to-be was in Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia.
On August 25 the 30-year-old went to see the doctor, that afternoon she was admitted to hospital and given four units of red blood cells. The following day she was airlifted to RPA and just five days after seeing her doctor she began chemotherapy.
Ms Batten’s brother Damien Batten said the news completely knocked the wind out of his sails. The siblings had always been close, Mr Batten said. He’s already found out that he’s a bone marrow match if he ever needs to donate.
“You don’t realise the impact it has on you until it hits close to home,” he said.
The wedding has been put on hold and the funds have gone to help cover the medical costs. Not knowing the length of her recovery, Ms Batten also resigned from her job. Her partner, Sam Cameron, has taken leave and her three kids – two-year-old twins and an 11-year-old daughter – are being looked after by family.
“She has her up and downs. I spoke to her [Monday] night and she seemed really happy within herself and was staying positive but there’s been days I’ve spoken to her where she’s been at rock bottom and doom and gloom. But that’s all part of the treatment and part of the disease,” Mr Batten said.
“She’s been given a 75 per cent chance of beating it with an 80 to 90 per cent chance of it not recurring.”
Having finished the first round of chemotherapy, Mr Batten said his sister was currently under observation and fighting a bacterial infection. It was yet to be decided if she would continue chemotherapy or they would undergo a transfusion, Mr Batten said.
To help out Mr Batten has started a GoFundMe page and is organising an auction. It’ll be held Friday, October 20 at the Garden Hotel. Local businesses had been incredibly generous, Mr Batten said, such as Robinson’s Motorcycles who had donated a brand new motorbike.
“It’s amazing the support you get from the Dubbo community and people who you don’t even know are donating,” he said.
“Once Regina has been given the all clear and she’s able to proceed on in a normal life, it may be 18 months or two years down the track, but any money leftover from this charity appeal I want to donate it to the Leukaemia Foundation. That’s something I’ve said all along,” he said.
Mr Batten said he was grateful to everyone who had offered support.