Stem cell charity finds donors for 2,000 life-saving transplants
Stem cell charity DKMS is celebrating the milestone of matching its 2,000th UK donor.
Amy Pringle, 28, was on the register and matched with a patient who desperately needed a life-saving transplant.
Her blood was removed from one arm, the stem cells filtered out, and the blood returned to her other arm.
Only one in three patients requiring a transplant find a match in their family and the rest rely on the kindness of strangers.
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Amy, a teacher from Glasgow, said it was “a unique experience to have potentially saved a strangers’ life”.
She discovered the stem cell register after finding she could not donate blood due to having received a transfusion in the past.
She said: “I felt excited when I found out I was a match for someone, and felt really fortunate that I could potentially help to save someone’s life.
“It’s a great feeling to know you could help a stranger to have another chance, however I also thought a lot about what that patient could be going through so it’s definitely emotional.”
Amy underwent a medical assessment, including blood and heart tests. She then self-administered growth factor injections to boost her white cells and release stem cells into the bloodstream ready to collect.
Amy said: “The actual donation was really easy, I donated through the peripheral blood method which involved giving blood from one arm and receiving it back in another once the cells had been separated.
“I’ve felt no pain or side effects throughout the whole process. I’d definitely do it again.
“As a healthy donor, we only need to give up a few hours of our time to give someone else another chance at life, it really is incredible how little it can take from a donors’ perspective.
“It’s an eye-opening experience and can make a massive difference. The more people on the register, the higher chances of a match so I’d really encourage everyone who can to sign up!”
DKMS UK has registered almost one million potential donors since it was founded in 2013.
The charity also operates in Germany, the USA, Poland, India, Chile, and South Africa – with 11 million donors registered worldwide.
People who are aged between 17-55 and in general good health can sign up for a home swab kit here.
Your swabs can then be returned with the enclosed pre-paid envelope to DKMS in order to ensure that your details are added to the DKMS’s stem cell registry.
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