Join bone marrow register in season of goodwill

I WAS very moved to read the story of Ellie Davidson in last week’s Advertiser and feel compelled to add my own thoughts to the appeal by her family for people to sign up as a bone marrow donor.

In 1986, there was a national appeal for volunteer donors and I joined other local people in the long queue around the Guildhall to register.

In all those years I have been called back only twice as being a possible match for people who desperately needed a transplant – sadly after going for further tests, I wasn’t suitable in either case.

My sister was diagnosed with leukaemia six years ago and immediately our brother, myself and her three children all volunteered to be tested.

Unfortunately none of us were a match for her and, despite a search on the register for matching donors, none were found and she died two years later – ironically one of those times when I was called back was when she was fighting her own battle.

My point is, just because you’re on the register doesn’t mean you will be a match for somebody, and just because the family will be tested, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be suitable donors, which is why so many more volunteers are needed.

We’re now in the season of ‘goodwill to all men’, so in amongst the busy days leading up to Christmas I would urge your readers to find five minutes to go online at anthonynolan.org and register as a volunteer – and maybe by next Christmas you will have given a life to somebody like Ellie, who so desperately needs it.

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