Simon Jones is one of our network planners and is encouraging others to follow in his footsteps after he started 2017 with an appointment that could save someone’s life.
The 26 year old joined the Anthony Nolan bone marrow register when he was 18.
Eight years later he got the call to say he was a perfect match – and the last chance – for a very sick patient.
He travelled to University College Hospital in London at the end of January where he donated one and a half litres of bone marrow in a one-hour operation.
Just a week later, he’s back working and feeling "absolutely fine”. Within four weeks, his body will replace the bone marrow he’s donated.
"The operation scares some people – I understand that,” says Simon. "But waking up after a short operation and experiencing a few days of pain and tiredness for hopefully saving a life…that’s the most amazing feeling.”
Simon remains the patient’s donor for two years in case they need further top-ups. He may never find out who they are, or if it was a success.
But, he says: "I’d do it all again tomorrow.” He even took part in "dry January” and donated the money he raised to the charity’s fund.
Inspired by Simon, several friends have signed up to the register. "It’s simple to sign-up if you’re aged 16-30,” says Simon. "Just fill out the online form, spit in a cup and send it off. If there is anyone out there who’s thinking about getting involved then I’d really urge them to do so.”
Ann O’Leary, head of register development at Anthony Nolan, said: "Simon has done an amazing thing by donating his bone marrow and giving a patient with blood cancer or a blood disorder a second chance at life. Every day, three people have a potentially lifesaving bone marrow or stem cell transplant with the help of a selfless donor. We need more people aged 16-30, particularly young men and people from black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds to join the Anthony Nolan register and give more people the chance of finding the best match.”
To find out more about the Anthony Nolan charity contact www.anthonynolan.org