Alexander found blood stem cell donation empowering

Alex R who donated by PBSC
August 23, 2022

Alexander was 19 when he signed up to join Strength to Give. Months after he joined, he was given the good news that he was a potential match for someone. To confirm the match, he gave a blood sample at a local clinic and said he felt empowered to have the ability to, potentially, save someone’s life. “This made me feel useful and inspired, which sounds slightly silly, but not just anyone could do this; it could only be someone who matched, rather than just any Joe Blow,” Alexander says.

Along with feeling empowered, Alexander had a strong support network around him, making the experience – from registration to donation – a positive one. “My friends and family were super supportive throughout the whole process,” he says.

Once he had the go-ahead that he was the confirmed match, Alexander had a general health check-up. He was making a peripheral blood stem cell donation (PBSC), which encourages the production of more stem cells to be released into the bloodstream. On the eve of the procedure, Alexander and a mate, his support person, stayed in a hotel next door to the collection centre, where the donation would be made. The stay was courtesy of the registry and came with an invitation to enjoy room service, adding a little fun to the donor journey.

“The way all the personnel involved approached this process really heightened my interest and made the whole thing really enjoyable and exciting to be a part of.” 

When it was time to check into the hospital, Alexander was fascinated. “…Being able to see a hospital environment first-hand really gave the donation a whole different perspective. The team at (the collection centre) and Strength to Give made the whole process super easy and relaxed. The way all the personnel involved approached this process really heightened my interest and made the whole thing really enjoyable and exciting to be a part of.” 

Elated, Alexander says the entire donation process was easy, and he feels fortunate to have been a donor. “…The main emotion associated with the whole experience was overall gratefulness that I could be involved, as well as empowerment…”

“Odds are, you’ll never be asked to donate, but, on the chance you do, you can hopefully have a remarkable impact on the life of someone else in a way that few other people can, and with the process being as easy as it is, it’s just another bonus.” 

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