My experience of donating stem cells with Anthony Nolan

Deviating from my usual topic slightly (I will start writing about books again soon I swear!) but this is worth it…

If you’re a follower of this blog you may already know that I’m a scientist by day but you probably don’t know that since March I’ve been working for Anthony Nolan, a bone marrow registry in the UK. My job is finding donors for patients who are in dire need of a stem cell transplant and one of the hardest parts of my job is that the register is desperately short of donors. Personally I signed up as soon as I turned 18 (the age restriction recently came down to 16) but I know that the concept is very scary for a lot of people who are concerned about what it involves and have heard horror stories of massive needles being jammed in the back. Well if that sounds familiar to you, this fantastic post should allay any fears – the donation process is the same right around the world and involves a couple of needles in the arm, no different to giving blood.

If you’ve ever considered being a donor or if the thought’s never crossed your mind, please read this post and think about signing up, you could make a very real difference to someone’s life.

Donating my stem cells

Wow – I wasn’t expecting that!

I’m just a normal bloke. I’m married, I have an 8yr old son, I work in a builders merchants, I play guitar in a soul band, I have a passion for cycling and I enjoy spending time with my family and friends.

That’s why the text message I received in April this year was such a surprise! At first, I thought it was just a marketing message but then a few hours later, I received a call from my wife to say that Anthony Nolan were trying to contact me and could I call them.

Being told that I was a potential match for someone in need of a Stem Cell transplant was a huge surprise – I’d actually not given much thought to the fact that I’d signed up to the Anthony Nolan register since sending off my “spit kit” a number of…

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