World Marrow Donor Day: Laura’s Story

Posted September 17th, 2016 by Be The Match and filed in News
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image1Laura is a Mortgage Advisor and lives with her partner and five year-old son in the UK. Family means more to Laura than anything in the world, so it seem
ed natural that when she saw an appeal on television for a young child who needed to find a match she immediately joined the registry.

“I think it’s really important that if you would be willing to take something, you should be willing to give it too,” says Laura. “I would move heaven and earth to find a match for my son if needed. I wouldn’t hesitate taking a donation from a stranger for him, so I should be willing to donate my bone marrow for someone else’s son or daughter too.”

Knowing what to expect

When Laura joined, she was committed to donating, but never thought she’d be called as a match. “I knew the odds were lower for me—especially since the majority of donors are male,” says Laura.

Years later she was called up as a potential match, but ended up not being a close enough match, so when she got another call, she that the same thing would happen again. After further testing, it was confirmed that Laura was the closest match for the patient.

Laura’s family and friends had a few questions like if she was worried. In general, people were amazed by how it all worked. “When I found out I was the best match, any concerns I had didn’t really matter,” says Laura. “Anything I would be going through would be nothing in comparison to what the patient was experiencing.”

Anthony Nolan and given Laura a booklet letting her know what to expect and the doctors had explained the procedure. “I felt well prepared and pretty calm about it all,” says Laura.

A fast recovery and a message from her patient

She says, “I was amazed at how quickly I recovered. The day of the operation, I mostly slept, but the next day I was able to walk around without any pain or side effects.” Laura did have some mild bleeding from where they had extracted the marrow, but generally speaking, she says she was “fighting fit” the next day.

Laura chose to receive updates about her recipient. She remembers the first card she received. “I’d had a rubbish day at work and was in a pretty bad mood,” she says. “I come home to this card and it really helped me put things into perspective. I was so pleased to find out he was doing well and was in remission.”

Words of advice

The one piece of advice Laura gives to people is: REGISTER! “Even if they are a stranger, that person you’d be donating to is someone’s parent, sibling, child, grandparent, etc.,” she says. Before going through the donation process, Laura was petrified of needles. “I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve fainted at the sight of blood. However, I’d donate again in a heartbeat.”

 

You can be the match for someone, too! Join today at join.bethematch.org

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