A first time mum desperately seeking a bone marrow donor to fight a leukaemia relapse has been dealt another blow.
After sharing her story in the Weekend Herald, Auckland woman Jo Mitchell has learned there is no current match for her on the global bone marrow register of 33 million people.
Hopes were high earlier this week when Mitchell learned there was a possible match for her overseas.
However, further tests revealed the potential donor's tissue type was different.
Finding there was just one potential match among millions was tough to hear, Mitchell said.
"But then discovering that they're not a match makes you really wonder about your chances. And that can be too overwhelming to think about.
"I'm trying to stay as strong and positive as possible, I'm hopeful that with new donors joining the global registry everyday someone out there might be a match."
Despite the setback Mitchell said she was given new hope by the dozens of New Zealanders who had been in touch this week to see if they were a match.
"I've been blown away by the support and kindness of friends, family and complete strangers, it's more than I could've imagined.
"I'm so glad that the word is spreading and that more people are giving blood and joining the bone marrow donor registry as it could help someone else in my situation too."
Mitchell and husband Tim Lomas went public last week in search of a bone marrow donor after it was discovered Mitchell's leukaemia had returned just weeks after the birth of their first child - a baby boy named Quinn.
The new parents were devastated at the relapse and decided to go public to increase Mitchell's chance at survival.
Mitchell was first diagnosed with blood cancer Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia in 2013. After three years of gruelling chemotherapy she was cleared of the disease.
In remission Mitchell made the most of life, marrying Lomas, celebrating with an adventure-filled honeymoon and in June this year welcoming baby boy Quinn to the family.
But just after Quinn was born it was discovered Mitchell's leukaemia had returned.
Mitchell said finding a donor was like "finding a needle in a haystack" complicated because she is Chinese and Caucasian.
More than 20 million of the people on the current global bone marrow register are European - and do not match Mitchell's tissue type.
Experts said the most likely match for Mitchell would also be Chinese and Caucasian - and will be male. That's because women produce antibodies in pregnancy that complicate the process.
Despite the odds the couple remain positive and are convinced Mitchell's perfect match is out there.
After the Weekend Herald article last week dozens of people contacted the NZ Bone Marrow Register to see if they could help.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, also a new mum, was touched by Mitchell's plight and urged people to register.
"Jo had a baby around the same time as I did, but after her baby arrived she found out that her leukaemia was back," Ardern said.
"Go out and give blood, and when you do, ask to be added to the bone marrow donor registry ... You could help save a life."
Executive officer of the New Zealand Bone Marrow Register Raewyn Fisher said the service had been inundated with new donors.
"I got in on Monday and there were dozens of messages and people wanting to register.
"We have had an amazing response and the loud message is that we need males between the age of 18 and 40 with a non-European ancestor."
Fisher said time would tell if any of the recent registrations were a match for Mitchell.