A BONE marrow donor who was nervous about needles is urging people: Sign up for Sudders.
Chris Brighouse-Johnson is backing the campaign by Examiner blogger Adrian Sudbury to spread the word about bone marrow donation and get more people to sign up to the donor register.
The 30-year-old, of Shelf, near Brighouse, said: “It’s your chance to give someone else in the world the chance to live that they might not have otherwise.
“For the little bit of pain involved it’s worth it.”
Chris joined the register about four years ago after hearing about a friend’s friend who had leukaemia.
But it was not until early last year he got a call to say he might be a match for a young woman who needed a transplant.
After further blood tests he was invited to the London College Hospital for the procedure.
He said: “I was nervous about doing it; I’m not a big fan of needles at the best of times. So the idea of them having to go in six or seven times was a bit daunting.
“But I knew it was potentially going to save someone’s life.
“The nurses were fantastic; they talked me through what was going to happen and put me at ease.
“I expected it to be a lot more painful than it was. There wasn’t a lot of discomfort at all.
“And it was surprising how quickly it was over.
“After coming round I had a couple of drinks, got taken back to the ward and was kept in the rest of the day.
“The next day they had to check that I was OK, I had another blood test and was then allowed to go home.”
He had a week off from his job at Feather Diesel Services in Elland before returning to work.
Chris added: “There’s nothing to stop me doing it again and they have already contacted me to ask me if I’m OK to stay on the register. I would definitely do it again.”
Rebecca Sedgwick, donor recruitment manager for bone marrow charity the Anthony Nolan Trust, said it was a common myth that donating was extremely painful.
She said: “As Chris’s experience shows, it’s relatively easy to donate and we need people to see that and come forward.
“For somebody out there it can mean their life. There are 20-30% of people that we have to turn away because there isn’t a match and there’s nothing we can do.
“The more people we can get on the register the more lives we will save.”