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“The best feeling in the world is helping someone in need.”

A photo of Yoni while he was donating blood stem cells.
December 13, 2023

Yoni first heard about Strength to Give when he was 18 years old. There was a faculty member in his school who told him and his friends that a man in their community was in desperate need of a blood stem cell donation. He encouraged them to sign up to the registry to see if they were a match. The next day they went in and got their blood samples taken.

This faculty member was an inspiration to Yoni, explaining to him the profound impact that donating blood stem cells can have on a person in need of the donation. He joined the registry “because it seemed like such an amazing opportunity to help someone in need”.

Every 28 minutes, someone in Australia is diagnosed with blood cancer, and for many, a blood stem cell transplant from a complete stranger is their only hope. However, only half of the patients find a match. That’s why it’s so important that we have a young and diverse range of donors on the registry.

Yoni had just finished a university exam when he found out he was a potential match. His phone had been switched off for the duration of the exam. When he switched it back on, he had a missed call and a voicemail message from Strength to Give. He was so excited by the idea that he immediately called them back saying that he would love to participate in the donation process.

“The feeling was really like no other. I was elated by the idea that my blood stem cells could help someone who was unwell. I immediately called my wife and my parents to tell them the news.”

A Donor Support Coordinator called him and gave him a comprehensive run down of the process that he would be undertaking. They carefully explained how he would initially attend the hospital to undertake various tests to determine whether he was in fact a good match for the patient.

Following this, a few weeks later, he would administer two injections every day for the four days leading up to the procedure. On the day of the procedure he would be “hooked up” to a machine that would purify his blood and extract the necessary stem cells for the patient in need. The procedure was to take a few hours.

Yoni was a little nervous about giving himself the injections, so he had a family member who is a doctor give him the injections. The process of giving the injections is quite simple but he felt more comfortable with someone else giving him the injections. On the third and fourth days of these injections he did feel a little pain in his lower back, however it was quite mild.

On the day of the donation, Yoni was nervous but really excited. He got up early to get to the hospital on time for the procedure. His wife came with him and spent the day with him there. He was told beforehand to eat a big breakfast, which he dutifully made sure to do.

He had two tubes inserted into each of his arms, which transported his blood into these machines that separated the necessary stem cells from the blood. There was also extra blood donated for the person in need. The whole procedure took about five hours. During that time, Yoni and his wife watched some movies, talked, ate and generally had a pretty relaxed time.

Throughout the day, he had people come in to check in on him regularly to make sure he was doing alright, which he of course, was.

He said that he felt completely fine the days following the procedure and even worked from home the next day without feeling any different to usual. He said that he was surprised by the ease with which it all happened. There were some elements that were a bit time-consuming, such as the medical work-up at the hospital and the procedure itself, but really “it was all quite straightforward”.

Yoni’s advice to other donors would be not to be scared about the process. As he explains, “you are treated extremely well and you are doing something truly special for another person”. He also suggested bringing someone along when making a donation, as for him it was very comforting to have someone there to share the experience.

“When you’re donating, take a moment to take it in and be present. It is a special experience, and you may never have another chance to do something like it.”

His friends and family were very proud and very curious to hear about the process. He had a few family members who themselves had loved ones who had received such donations before, and they were particularly excited that he was completing this donation.

As for anyone else considering becoming a donor, Yoni has one word of advice: “Go for it! The best feeling in the world is knowing that you can help another in need. The process is quite straightforward, and your donation could save a life.”


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