20 June 2014
It was remarkable that two people from the Isle of Wight donated their blood stem cells in one day. Ben Coombes and Rick Harwood, who both live on the Isle of Wight, each donated their blood stem cells to patients in need of a lifesaving donation on the same day.
Ben and Rick both joined the registry in response to the appeal for young islander Finley Morris. Finley, aged 6, had been diagnosed with leukaemia last April and we ran an appeal in the Autumn with his family. There was a huge response with thousands of people from the Isle of Wight joining the blood stem cell registry in the hope that they might be a match for Finley, or for someone else in need of a blood stem cell donation.
The fantastic response has now led to three people being matched with patients in search of a lifesaving donation, as Sarah Cobb, a mother of three from the Isle of Wight, also donated some of her blood stem cells in February. While little Finley, who inspired so many to join the registry, received a blood cord donation at the start of the year.
Ben and Rick were both surprised but very happy to discover that they had matched with a patient in need of a donation so soon after joining the registry. They both also found the donation process easy and straightforward.
Professional boatmaker Ben Coombes said that he would be happy to reassure his 94 year old grandfather, who had been concerned that it would be an invasive procedure as it used to be in the past.
Speaking about his peripheral stem cell donation, Rick said: “I’d do it again, I’d absolutely do it again without a blink. It is so mild that it doesn’t stop me doing anything.”
While his wife Kate, who accompanied him to his donation added: “It is not in any way intrusive or invasive.”
We expect more donations from the Isle of Wight as almost 500 people registered at the Isle of Wight Festival last weekend.