Donor Story

Paul keeps on giving

From blood donations to stem cell donation, Paul Smith's dedication to helping others continues to inspire.

18/06/2024

“I’ve always felt that donating is such an easy way to help others,” shares Paul Smith, a 57-year-old proud father of two from Bexley. Paul has dedicated his life to serving others, both as a firefighter and as a committed donor.

A lifetime of service and giving

Paul Smith smiling after the Marathon holding his bike
Paul Smith sitting with team mates in their uniform

Paul’s journey of giving started in 1987 when he began donating blood. Over the years, he has made 83 whole blood donations and aims to reach 100. His motivation stems from his time with the London Fire Brigade (LFB), where he served for 32 years. "I've seen first-hand the need for blood for people who have been injured or had accidents," Paul explains.

His determination to help others extended beyond blood donations. Over 20 years ago, inspired by the tragic story of Daniel De-Gayle, Paul registered with the ACLT to become a stem cell donor. He also actively promoted donor registration, particularly among Black and ethnic minority communities, often organising recruitment drives with the support of the LFB.

The call to donate

Paul smith and his daughters smiling at the camera in hospital

In January 2024, Paul received an unexpected call from DKMS while playing golf, informing him that he was a match for a patient. “It took me by surprise, but I had a smile on my face. I wondered if they’d made a mistake because of my age,” Paul recalls. Despite his initial doubts, he embraced the opportunity.

On his stem cell donation day, Paul’s daughter took time off work to support him. “We decided to make a fun day of it – we had loads of snacks, our current books to read, and playing cards, but actually, we just sat and chatted. It was lovely to have that father-daughter time together,” Paul shares.

Paul donated via Peripheral Blood Stem Cell (PBSC), a process similar to donating blood platelets. He was delighted to learn that he had donated a substantial amount of stem cells. A week later, DKMS let him know that his recipient was a woman in her late 20s to 30s, living in the UK.

Paul’s dedication to donating has also inspired his children. Both of them have become regular blood donors and are considering registering to donate bone marrow/stem cells. “My children are very proud of me, and that often makes me fill up and get a bit teary when I think about it”.

Encouraging diversity in donor registries

Paul continues to advocate for more people from Black and ethnic minority backgrounds to register as donors. His story is a powerful reminder of the impact one person can have on the lives of others.

By joining the DKMS stem cell register, you can also make a difference and potentially save a life. Why not register today?

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