EXAMINER reporter Katie Campling reports on becoming a bone marrow donor.
IT’S not every day that you can say you may have saved someone’s life.
But today, I can, because I have just signed up to the Anthony Nolan Trust’s register of bone marrow donors.
By giving just one small phial of blood, I have been put on a world-wide database of people willing to donate their bone marrow to someone for whom a transplant may be the last chance of life.
There is a desperate shortage of donors – just 500,000 people in the UK are signed up to the register.
It’s easy to find excuses – you don’t have time, you hate needles, you are squeamish about blood. Personally, I used all three – that is until my friend and colleague Adrian Sudbury underwent a life-saving bone marrow transplant.
Adrian, 26, was diagnosed with two types of leukaemia last year. Chemotherapy took care of one, but a bone marrow transplant was his only chance of beating the other.
He was lucky and through the Anthony Nolan Trust, a donor was found. She lived in Germany. Without the database, his chances of finding the one person who could help would have been nil.
With that in mind, I decided all the excuses were not good enough and sent off for a registration pack from the Anthony Nolan Trust.
All you have to do then is book an appointment with your GP or your local hospital’s phlebotomy department.
To give my sample, I visited Huddersfield Royal Infirmary. I have a phobia of needles, but the nurse was fantastic and put me at ease. The process was not painful and was over in seconds – in fact, having my photo done was probably more of an ordeal!
All I had to do then was put my sample in a padded envelope and pop it in the post.
I can’t say donating blood was the most fun few minutes of my life – but it is certainly the best thing I have ever done.
Adrian said: “It means so much to me that Katie has done this. She is really scared of needles, so to have had the courage to step forward and join the bone marrow register is incredible.
“She may now be a match for someone like me anywhere in the world and actually go on to save their life.”