Six years ago, Kim was donating stem cells to save the life of a complete stranger. On the anniversary of her amazing, lifesaving act, she got in touch with Anthony Nolan to share the story of her donation experience.
Why I joined the stem cell donor register
I’d been a blood donor for many years; at one clinic, they had leaflets about the bone marrow register. My reason for signing up was simple; if any of my family need either blood transfusions, bone marrow or even a transplant, I hope there is someone out there that can help.
I have been a partial match before but not close enough – until 6 years ago when I received a letter about being a match for someone else.
I never thought twice.
My experience of donating stem cells
The whole process went smoothly, from the G-CSF injections to the donation itself. I was allowed a companion, which was and still is my friend Theresa.
I was so well looked after at the London Clinic. They explained everything what was going to happen. My veins were a little shy and needed to be warmed up. The collection took just under 4 hours. I did need a calcium drip as I reacted to the anti-coagulant.
Then I had to wait to make sure that enough stem cells were collected. (Which there were.) Then I was allowed to go home!
When my cells were collected, I wished them good luck. The aftercare was also exceptional – and is still going on, by means of a yearly health check form to complete.
Getting in touch with my recipient
In the coming years I thought about the recipient and hoped that she was well…which was confirmed last year, when I received a card thanking me for the donation. I was delighted to hear this and hope to hear from her again.
I wouldn’t hesitate to be a stem cell donor again. It was a great experience. One that I shall never forget.
Want to join Kim in donating stem cells? Find out more here.