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Year 13 student is a lifesaver

Each year Keith Sudbury from ASSET comes in to the High School to give a talk to Year 12 students across the Foundation about stem cell donation and how students can 'Register and be a Lifesaver'. Following a moving talk students are offered the chance to sign up to join the Stem Cell donor register. As a direct result of this, Eva in Year 13 was contacted over the Christmas period to say that she was a match and that her stem cells could save someone's life. Eva travelled to a specialist hospital in Sheffield and over two days donated stem cells. She has since written about her experience, which can be read below.

We are incredibly proud of what Eva has done and we look forward to welcoming Keith and his team back to encourage more students to sign up for the Anthony Nolan register.

“Last year, the Anthony Nolan charity delivered an assembly in school about signing up to be a stem cell donor. Before that assembly, I had never even heard of a stem cell transplant, and didn’t know that it was used to treat blood cancer. I decided to sign up, because I thought it was a great cause. I never imagined back then that I would actually be chosen to donate!

Later in the year, I received an email from Anthony Nolan saying that I was a potential match for a patient who needed a stem cell transplant. My blood samples were analysed, and I was found to be a match! After a rigorous medical examination, I got the go ahead for a PBSC donation, where the stem cells are taken from blood. Anthony Nolan arranged the dates and transport, and I just turned up. Although I was very nervous about the donation, they made sure that I understood what was going to happen at all times, and supported me during the entire process.

There are many misconceptions about donating stem cells – that it is painful, that they drill into your spine, etc. In reality, PBSC donation is similar to giving blood; I had a needle in one arm taking away my blood and collecting the stem cells, and a needle in the other arm returning my blood. It was so non invasive and simple that I just sat in the chair watching Netflix, whilst a bag was filled up with my stem cells. There was no reason to be nervous, as it wasn’t scary or painful at all!

The process went smoothly, and after the donation had finished I was quite tired, and my arms ached a bit. But a few days later I’d fully recovered, and I was really glad that I’d donated. I definitely think it was a life changing experience, because it made me realise how a simple procedure could potentially save someone’s life. That’s why I’d encourage anyone who is eligible to sign up to the Anthony Nolan register, because they really make a difference to people’s lives.”

Year 13 student is a lifesaver featured image
Year 13 student is a lifesaver featured image