Cancer-stricken woman’s only stem cell match was murdered son
A cancer-stricken mother who urgently needs a stem cell transplant to survive has been told the only match in the world was her 19-year-old son who was horrifically bludgeoned to death by her jilted ex-partner.
Tania Morris, 49, from Staffordshire, fears this Christmas could be her last after she was struck down with Hodgkin Lymphoma and has been unable to find a donor due to her rare tissue type.
She was diagnosed with the condition in December 2018, shortly after burying her son Nathan Bates, who was killed while he slept, in October.
Doctors have said her only chance of survival is to undergo a stem cell transplant, but Tania’s incredibly rare tissue type means there is currently no-one on the worldwide register who is suitable.
Tania Morris (pictured above) has rare tissue and needs a stem cell transplant in order to stay alive
Tania Morris (right) is pictured above with Robert Goodwin. He killed her son, who had been her only hope of surviving the disease
Nathan Bates was found dead and had been bludgeoned to death by his mother’s partner
Tania and her loved-ones are now desperately urging people to join the Anthony Nolan register in the hope they can get their very own Christmas miracle.
It comes after tests showed Tania’s mother Viv, aged 69, and father Robert, aged 70, are not suitable as they are too old and one has a pacemaker.
And her brother Darren Morris, aged 48, was not a match either.
Meanwhile, her younger brother Adam Morris, who could have fitted the bill, died of a heart attack at the age of 41 four years ago.
Speaking to the Stoke Sentinel Tania said: ‘It’s heartbreaking. The doctors just keep saying we need a fit-and-healthy 19-year-old and that breaks my heart as that’s how old Nathan was when he was murdered.
‘My younger brother could have been a match but he died of a heart attack. My other brother Darren was devastated when he was tested and wasn’t a match. He wanted so much to help me.
‘Dad’s only a half match. He’s too poorly himself to go ahead but if and when it becomes life or death he could be a last resort. They’re worried it would kill both me and him.
‘It would really be desperate measures if it comes to that. It would be my last option because it could kill me.’
Tania’s nightmare first started back in August 12, 2018 when she was left bloodied and bruised after being attacked by her partner Robert Goodwin (pictured together above)
She added that her mother has not been tested due to the fact she has had a heart bypass. She added that her only chance of beating the disease was if someone comes forward to help.
Tania’s nightmare first started back in August 12, 2018 when she was left bloodied and bruised after being attacked by her partner Robert Goodwin, she first met Goodwin in 2013.
Then, months later he bludgeoned Port Vale fan Nathan to death with a hammer as he lay asleep in bed before killing himself in nearby woodland ‘to cause Tania the maximum amount of distress’ on October 11 last year.
At the time of Nathan’s murder, Goodwin was on bail after being charged with the assault on Tania – and had retained his liberty despite having breached a condition not to contact her.
It was while she was coping with the stress of organising Nathan’s funeral the following December that she first noticed her own health decline.
Tania said Goodwin is a ‘coward’ for what he did to her son (pictured above)
The official blood cancer diagnosis then came in January this year.
She has since endured endless rounds of chemotherapy – but has just been told the latest treatment is not working.
Tania said: ‘He’s just a coward for what he did to Nathan. He wouldn’t accept any responsibility for what he did. He wanted me to drop the charges but I refused because I was scared he would do it to someone else.
‘He just couldn’t cope with the thought of going to prison so he killed Nathan, killed himself and if I don’t find a donor, he may yet kill me. All the stress he’s put our family through also led to my mum’s heart attack.’
Tania added that he had no reason to do what he did and had just wanted to upset her ‘in the worst way possible’.
‘He said he loved me to pieces but then he did this. Since the day he attacked me, it’s just been one thing after another.’
Tania, who is currently too sick to work, added: ‘I haven’t properly grieved for Nathan because of the cancer.
‘I’m up at hospital every week and fighting this disease just leaves me so tired. I can’t sleep anymore. If I’m not thinking about the cancer, my thoughts turn to Nathan.’
She said she wasn’t coping well and that she had experience a rollercoaster of a couple of years, adding that she ‘doesn’t know how much more she can cope with’.
‘I was planning on having a 50th birthday in the New Year but we’ve put the plans on hold because I don’t know when I’ll be in hospital. I wanted to something to say thank-you to all my friends and family but everything is still up in the air.
Ms Morris, pictured, was attacked by Goodwin on August 12, 2018. He was awaiting trial for the assault when he sneaked into Ms Morris’s home to murder her son
‘I can’t plan anything. My life has been on hold since the day that man attacked me.’
Tania has monthly appointments at Christies in Manchester to check whether there is a match.
Urging people to join the register, she added: ‘It’s just a simple test you do in your own home send off.
‘I’m not doing this just for me but for everyone else who needs a donor. You never know, you could save someone’s life. It’s my last chance to see another Christmas.’
An inquest heard Goodwin had already breached his bail conditions by contacting Ms Morris on her phone
Despite the tough times Tania has faced over the last year-and-a-half, she is determined to battle on with the support of her new partner Kate Simpson and her remaining family.
She added: ‘We’ve been seeing each other for six months now so she knew what she was taking on!
‘She drives me everywhere. She makes me go places when sometimes I just want to sit at home and feel sorry for myself. If it wasn’t for her I would barely leave the house except to got to hospital. She tries to make life as normal as possible for me.’
‘Last year I spent Christmas on my own as there was nothing to celebrate but Kate has made me put up a tree.
‘It’s a tough time of year because on New Year’s Eve it would have been Nathan’s 21st birthday. I don’t know how I’ll cope but I will.’
Tania’s mother Viv Morris is desperate for a match to be found to save her daughter’s life.
Ms Morris, pictured, ended the relationship with Goodwin after he had attacked her with an ornament and bashed her over teh head with it as well’
She said: ‘The saddest thing about all this is Nathan would probably have been a match but he’s no longer here. It’s absolutely terrible, it’s just dreadful.
‘There’s no-one on the register worldwide. It’s just one of those things. We are appealing for as many people as possible to join.
‘After what we’ve been through, we just want to find a match otherwise this might be her last Christmas. We are desperate to find someone.
‘She keeps herself looking lovely and is wearing wigs so you wouldn’t really know she’s ill. But she’s been on four different kinds of chemotherapy and she’s having to stop the one she’s on now as they don’t think it’s working. A stem cell transplant is her only hope.
‘The test is so easy, people think it involves a trip to hospital. We’re thinking of doing a leaflet drop at the college to encourage people to sign up. You could end up saving my daughter’s life – or someone else’s.’
WHAT IS LYMPHOMA?
Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymph nodes, which is the body’s disease-fighting network.
That network consists of the spleen, bone marrow, lymph nodes and thymus gland.
There are various types of lymphoma, but two main ones: non-Hodgkin’s and Hodgkin’s.
Both have much better prognoses than many types of cancer.
WHAT IS HODGKIN’S LYMPHOMA?
Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a type of cancer that starts in the white blood cells. It is named after Thomas Hodgkin, an English doctor who first identified the disease in 1832.
It affects around 1,950 people each year in the UK, and 8,500 a year in the US.
Hodgkin’s lymphoma is most common between the ages of 20 and 24, and 75 and 79.
WHAT IS NON-HODKIN’S LYMPHOMA?
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma can occur anywhere in the body but is usually first noticed in the lymph nodes around sufferers’ necks.
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma affects around 13,700 new people every year in the UK. In the US, more than 74,600 people are diagnosed annually.
It is more common in males than females, and it is commonly diagnosed either in a patient’s early 20s or after the age of 55.