My Dad was diagnosed with a type of blood cancer which meant he needed a blood stem cell transplant in order to treat his condition. I felt pretty helpless during the process to find a suitable donor. I desperately wanted to help my Dad but sadly I wasn’t found to be a match for him.
Fortunately for my family, we found a suitable donor through the Australian registry! This was the catalyst for me to go and sign up – it was so easy to do.
When I first got the call to say “You’ve been identified as a potential match” honestly, I thought it was a mistake! I called back to make sure it was legit. When I signed up, I was told “It’s not likely you’ll ever get matched”, and there I was only two months later getting further testing to make sure I was the best match for the patient (I was!). It was quite surreal!
Finding out I was someone’s match after my family had found someone willing to make a donation for my Dad earlier in that same year was unbelievable. To be a part of something so much bigger than I am, to give someone a chance at life is an experience I’ll cherish for the rest of my life. Being able to tell my Dad, after his experience with blood cancer, was the best part of the process for me. My family (and especially my partner) are super proud of me. My friends were stoked when I told them what was happening, though a little unfamiliar I was happy to let them know a bit about the registry, a few even signed up themselves!
I was surprised at how smooth the donation process itself was. The team behind the scenes made everything so simple and easy. After the donation the gravity of what I just did took awhile to sink in, but I felt really honoured to be able to help someone. Amazingly, I received an update from my recipient letting me know how they were getting along, and the impact my donation had made in their life. I definitely shed a tear reading that!
To anyone considering joining Strength to Give, if you’re thinking about it, you’re halfway there! The process is even simpler now you can join via a simple cheek swab test, and Strength to Give has so much great information to help make the decision easier.