“I felt really privileged knowing I was a match for someone!”

25 May 2018

When Henry Holman was told he was a match for someone who needed a blood stem cell transplant, he went out of his way to help.

Nearly a year on, ahead of DKMS World Blood Cancer (28 May), Henry has gone the extra mile once more, but this time in a different way. He took part in the Milton Keynes Marathon to raise awareness and vital funds for the cause.

He wanted to share his donation story with us, to mark the occasion and encourage others to potentially help save a life – just like he did.

“After my friend was diagnosed with leukaemia, I wanted to do something to help. My wife registered me online with DKMS, and I sent my swabs back straight away. Within six months, I’d had the call from DKMS to say I was a match for someone. I felt really privileged. I was happy knowing that I was going to be a match for someone and could potentially give someone a chance. I was willing for all the blood tests to go my way, so I could go ahead with the donation.

I donated my blood stem cells by a bone marrow collection, which only happens in 10% of cases. I didn’t find it a painful process at all and I think the build up of the procedure is actually greater in the mind than in the actual body. Following the donation I ached a little but it was literally the same aches that you would get after doing a bit of gardening.

Lots of people I know have also registered and they’re almost a little jealous that I’ve had the chance to help save someone and they are still waiting. Hopefully, they will get their chance soon.

For a simple mouth swab why wouldn’t you give yourself a chance to help give someone a second chance at life? It’s such an incredible feeling and you get an overwhelming sense of pride knowing that you have done such a wonderful thing.

If I had the chance to meet the person I donated to - I don’t think there would be any words. Just being able to see them would be powerful enough. I would 100% donate again.”

How you can help

Feeling inspired? If you’d like to register as a potential blood stem cell donor you can check your eligibility and sign up today. Anyone aged between 17-55 and in general good health can go on standby as a potential lifesaver.

If you’re not eligible or you’re already registered, why not check the other ways to get involved in the fight against blood cancer or help us cover donor registration costs?