From 2013 to 2015, Nicki worked for Anthony Nolan as a Logistics Administrator at our Cell Therapy Centre in Nottingham.
In this blog, she reflects upon her very personal reasons for working with us – and the story of her son Archie, who had a stem cell transplant himself.
In 2006 my son, Archie (aged 3 at the time), was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. He became gravely ill from the side effects of the chemotherapy, spending over four weeks in intensive care – he had to learn to talk, crawl and walk all over again.
The odds really were against him, but thankfully, he went into remission and gradually built up his strength over the next five years. Sadly, in 2012, the leukaemia returned in his brain and he was referred for a stem cell transplant. The fear that you may not find a match for your child is all-consuming and frankly terrifying!
Having spent many years in and out of hospital, I have seen many families go through similar scenarios, and the first name that springs to mind for help is Anthony Nolan.
Archie was lucky (for once!) in that his brother (Harvey, then aged 3) was a 10 out of 10 match and his transplant (Nov 2012) went relatively smoothly.
However, I know many families where this has not been the case. I have seen so many parents waiting for weeks, petrified that their child may not find a match. Thankfully, many of the children have gone on to find matches via Anthony Nolan (cord and bone marrow) and are now doing tremendously well. Some, however, haven’t been as fortunate because either there were complications with the transplant or tragically a match wasn’t found in time.
Many families I know are so grateful to Anthony Nolan and realise they do far more than just finding a match – the fact that they are also committed to finding EVERYONE a match and improving the quality of lives post transplant means such a lot.
I have had various jobs in the past, but none have given me as much satisfaction – a high point for me was the day we shipped a cord unit to a children’s hospital – knowing only too well the joy it will bring to the child and their whole family.
Archie is now at senior school and, despite some ongoing side effects, is enjoying life to the full!
To help us find more lifesaving matches for kids like Archie, and conduct more groundbreaking research into stem cell transplantation, you can donate money here: