home  |  about us  |  counsellors  |  clinics  |  fundraising  |  committee  |  photos  |  Q&A  |  links

Jenny's Diary of a Donation

This year our own Jenny Dawes, Publicity Coordinator for the Bristol Marrow committee, donated through the Anthony Nolan Trust. Here she describes how she felt at various stages of the donation process and outlines the course of bone marrow transplantation with a personal perspective. Well done Jenny!

Day 1

I got a letter today from the Anthony Nolan Trust telling me that I’m a potential match for someone and asking if I’d be willing to have some further testing. I read through the information enclosed and rang the Anthony Nolan Trust, they were brilliant and arranged for me to have the bloods taken at my local hospital. According to the statistics I now have a 25% chance of going on to donate, strange to say I only joined the register a year ago and the chances of being asked for further testing are quite small. I’m quite happy to go ahead with the further testing and there’s no doubt in my mind that if I am found to be a match then I would donate without a second thought, although I don’t want to get too bogged down in thinking about it too much as it may not happen yet.

Day 6

I went to give my further samples today, they took quite a few vacutainers full, its about 150ml in total so still less than if I was giving blood, it just seems like more because there are so many of the containers! I took them to the post office and sent them back straight away, the ANT send all the packaging and everything is prepaid so its not a problem, I just had to drop them off. It normally takes about 12 weeks for them to get the results back so nothing to worry about too much for a while now.

Day 29

I got a phone call from the ANT today to tell me I was the best match for the patient and asked if I would be willing to go ahead with a donation. We chatted about my understanding of what would happen and she checked that I was still willing to go ahead with it. I had to ring university to check that they would be ok with me having the time off but the ANT will sort everything else out, they even offered to speak to the university if I was having difficulty in getting the time off. I have very mixed feelings about donating, in a strange way I feel almost privileged that I could be the one person that could save the recipient’s life but then again the whole process is essentially unknown to me, I’ve talked about it and read about it but I’m still not entirely sure what to expect and I find that a little disconcerting. Then again, there is absolutely no way I would back out, no matter what, me doing this could have a huge effect on someone’s life and I can’t take that away from them.

Next page