I joined the Anthony Nolan register via the blood donor register back in 2015. It was at a regular blood donation that i filled out a form to also go on the Anthony Nolan register. I didn't really think anything of it at the time so, and just carried on with the donation. I needed to give an extra small donation for the relevant test to be carried out and details entered onto the relevant databases but it was as simple a giving a small blood test. End of.  

It wasn't until the morning of the 31st March 2017 that i received a text message from the British Bone Marrow Registry stating that i had come up as a potential match for a patient and i was to call back and discuss the next steps.

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I went through a series of questions on the call and it ended in them posting me a blood sample collection kit. I was to call my GP & book in for them to take my blood as per the collection kit instructions and post this back to the relevant place. I was told to wait for a phone call to confirm the next stage.


After 7-8 weeks of no contact i thought that was that but on the 2nd June 2017 i received a message to say the transplant centre have requested me as their donor of choice and can i call them to discuss the options. I didn't really appreciate just how involved this would be or what i would need to do for the donation so made the call and discussed the options and they sent out a pack for information. This turned into an outpatients appointment at kings college hospital in London for them to carry out a variety of test and questions. I was assigned a chaperone for the morning to take me to the relevant departments around the hospital for the relevant checks. These included, the usual blood pressure, weight, previous medical history, ecg, xray and urine sample. I spent 3-4 hours onsite that morning all organised by Anthony Nolan.

​​​All of this resulted in me being the best potential match for the recipient and a date was booked for the 10th July 2017 for my donation. A week before i had a local nurse visit me at home at give me GCSF injections every day so that it would be easier to achieve the required level during donation. Everything went perfectly on the morning of the donation and it was over in 5-6 hours. 

Every aspect of my journey was handled by AN and nothing was too much trouble. From booking trains/hotels to phone calls, emails, paper work and everything in between. I would have never thought of the effort and number of people required to conduct 1 single donation to ultimately give someone a better chance in life. 

It is for this reason that i applied to have a charity place for the 2019 London Marathon to raise as much money and awareness as possible for a great charity that really do have some amazing people and do brilliant work.

Luke M.

Jogger, Fundraiser & (Soon to be) marathon runner.


© 2019 by Luke McCarthy

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