Patient Story

St Albans smashes it

Hundreds register as potential stem cell donors to support young local patient diagnosed with blood cancer.

24/06/2024

This past weekend, at the Old Verulamians Rugby Club in St Albans, the local community united to support 24-year-old Ben and others facing blood cancer and blood disorders.

Ben's story has touched the hearts of many. He was living his ‘best life’ when he received the devastating diagnosis of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. Now, he urgently needs a stem cell transplant to give him a chance at survival.

"I was extremely nervous the day before the event. With the amazing reaction to the radio, TV, and social media campaigns, it could have gone two ways. Either nobody would have turned up because they had already registered online, or we would have a huge turnout. And wow, what a turnout it was." shares Ben’s mum, Katrina, about the stem cell donor registration drive she organised with DKMS.

Man smiling and holding swabs at a donor registration event
People swabbing at a stem cell registration event

Overwhelming community response

The event saw an impressive 542 potential donors registering in person and over £690 raised. Additionally, an impressive 1,162 swab kits were requested online, extending the campaign's reach far beyond St Albans.

Ben’s family expressed their heartfelt gratitude for the overwhelming support. "It’s a weird thing to say ‘what an amazing day’ when your child has cancer. But what we all achieved was amazing," Katrina shares.

Michael, the PR and Media Officer at DKMS, also expressed his gratitude. He shared, "We know all it takes to make a real difference to patients and their families is communities coming together to do a good thing, and St. Albans has done that. We can't say thank you enough. Each person registered means a potential match for someone like Ben."

Continued efforts and community strength

If you missed the event but still want to register or donate money, you can do so online. Every new registration and donation increase the chances of finding a matching donor for Ben and others like him with blood cancers or disorders.

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