Donor Story

Watch: Hetty’s blood stem cell donation story

Hetty signed up to be a DKMS lifesaver-in-waiting after seeing one of her closest friends undergo a stem cell transplant to help him to treat his leukaemia. Soon after, she got the call to help someone in urgent need of a donor.


In 2019 Hetty Duggan joined the blood stem cell donor register in support of her friend Jon who was undergoing a stem cell transplant to help him to treat his leukaemia. Jon’s donor was his sibling, which often offers the closest match for a patient.

Within months of signing up, Hetty received the call to advise her that she had been selected as a match for a patient. The patient was in urgent need so within weeks, Hetty had undergone further tests to confirm that she was the best donor and was booked in to make her donation.

Hetty donated via a peripheral blood stem cell collection, which is the method used for the majority of collections.

Hetty was so inspired to share her story and to let more people know about blood stem cell donations and the ease of donating to potentially save someone’s life that she has created a video, which can be viewed below.

Jon passed away in May 2020, leaving his friends and family grieving. But by taking the initiative to help someone else who is in need just like Jon, and signing up as potential blood stem cell donors, they have left a legacy in Jon’s name.

By signing up to be a DKMS donor, Hetty and her friends and family will be able to offer one of the 2,000 patients each year in the UK who have to turn to a stranger for their donation, a second chance of life.

They will be able to bring hope to the patient and their family.

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