Meeting my blood stem cell donor was the most important moment in my entire life

9 August 2016

Marco Wehser, a patient with DKMS in Germany, was diagnosed with leukaemia in February 2012. When Marco was told that he would need a blood stem cell donation in order to survive, his whole life broke apart:

“It was like a mosaic, decomposed into its individual parts. I was totally down and confused. When I got the news that a match for me was found in the worldwide search I raised new hope and I started fighting again. I knew that this was my only chance to survive so I took it. The word thankful is not strong enough to explain what I felt – it was even more which I cannot bring into words.

Today, I celebrate my stem cell birthday even bigger than my real birthday.”

Following a worldwide search for a matching donor, Marco received a lifesaving blood stem cell donation from UK donor Daniel O’Brien in August 2012. Since then, Marco has been able to do many things in his life, the most important of which has been to become a father and he now has two lovely twin boys, Finn and Paul.

Four years after his blood stem cell transplant Marco met his lifesaver, Daniel O’Brien, who travelled to Germany to meet him in August 2016. During the meeting Marco and Daniel grabbed the opportunity to visit the DKMS office in Cologne where the duo discussed opportunities for supporting DKMS' mission to recruit more people around the world as potential donors.

Marco summarised his feelings from the meeting:

"Meeting my blood stem cell donor was the most important moment in my entire life and meant a lot to me. To be honest, I couldn’t sleep the night before because I was so excited and full of anticipation. I was waiting at the airport, nervous and excited. Then I saw the news on the screen that the flight would be delayed. So my nervousness was rising and rising. When we first saw each other I was overwhelmed and in the first moment totally speechless and breathless.

Please sign up if you can. Please do it so that more stories can have a great ending like mine. I am well aware that without a blood stem cell donation, I wouldn’t have had any chance. There are still too many people who don’t get that second chance for life. Because every life lost is one too many."

Every 20 minutes, someone in the UK is diagnosed with a blood cancer like leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma. Registering as a potential blood stem cell donor only takes a few minutes but could be one of the most important things you ever do. If you live in the UK and you’re aged between 17 to 55 you could be a potential life saver. Simply register online at our website www.dkms.org.uk and request a cheek swab kit.