Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Donating Stem Cells and Fundraising for Anthony Nolan

I am fundraising for Anthony Nolan on justgiving, after donating stem cells to an anonymous recipient in July 2014. I have raised £186+ gift aid so far.

Below is some of my story as a donor.

So after joining Anthony Nolan as a transplant donor in September 2013 I was informed in March 2014 that I was a match for a specific donee in desperate need of a bone marrow transplant! (The recipient is anonymous to me. All I know is that they are an adult male.) Without hesitation I said yes and after passing several medical checks I was given the go ahead to be his donor.

On the 11th July 2014 I began to receive injections that stimulate stem cell reproduction and allow stem cells to leave my bone marrow and enter my blood stream. The injections had some side effects such as migraines, aching bones and fatigue, but nothing was as horrible as what my recipient must be going through

On the  15th of July 2014 I checked into the UCH Macmillan Cancer Centre in London and spent the day donating through a peripheral blood stem cell transplant. The needles were a bit big and a pain to get in the veins but once the lovely staff had connected me to the machine it was just a matter of day dreaming while the machine worked it's magic. At the end of the first days cycle I was delighted to hear that they had collected 20% more stem cells than target. Therefore, I was free to go home and rest. (Sometimes a second day of collection is needed). 24 hours later and I was feeling a bit tired and achy but otherwise healthy and resting as instructed. A few days later I was enjoying my usual activities, hoping that somewhere someone had a second chance at life.

(My stem cells are being collected in the bag in the top left hand corner of the picture.)

To find out more about donating to an amazing charity that made this possible please view my just giving page.

Here is an interesting video on the work of Anthony Nolan.

You can also join the bone marrow/stem cell register here.

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