LIVERPOOL LIFESAVER: First person to donate lifesaving stem cells in new partnership

21 May 2019

James, 26, from Liverpool, recently became a lifesaver after donating his blood stem cells to a complete stranger to give them a second chance at life.

James was inspired to register as a potential blood stem cell donor after hearing of a local boy, Finn McEwen’s search to find his lifesaver, in 2015. He attended one of our donor registration event, took the first steps to become a lifesaver-in-waiting and was on the registry for a few years before being identified as a match for someone in need.

New Lifesaving partnership

James became the first person to donate lifesaving blood stem cells as part of a new partnership between us, NHS Blood and Transplant and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. He is now urging others to take the first step and register as potential blood stem cell donor, ahead of World Blood Cancer Day (28 May), and go on standby to help save the life of someone like you.

James donated at the NHS Blood and Transplant Therapeutic Apheresis Services unit, based within the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield, which has become the first unit in the country to provide collection services for donors from all three organisations operating in England, that form part of the UK’s aligned stem cell registry, including DKMS.

An experience never to forget

James who donated his blood stem cells through a peripheral blood stem cell collection said: “I registered with DKMS after hearing Finn’s fight against blood cancer and desperate search to find his potential lifesaver. I wanted to try and help.

“To be identified as a potential match for someone and to go on and donate my blood stem cells to help save their life is such an exciting experience and one that I will never forget. What better gift can you give then the gift of life?”

Lisa Nugent, Head of Donor Recruitment at DKMS said: “We are delighted to be working in collaboration with NHS Blood and Transplant and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals to provide a new location for stem cell collections with DKMS donors. Thanks to the generous acts of donors, like James, we are able to give people with blood cancers and disorders like Finn, who thankfully received a lifesaving transplant, a second chance at life.”

How you can help

You can help support the fight against blood cancer by making your mark this World Blood Cancer Day (28 May) by supporting our #WearItRed campaign.

Anyone between the ages of 17-55 and in good general health can go on standby to potentially save a life. Check your eligibility and sign up as a potential blood stem cell donor.