Posted by Anna Appleby on 28th February 2020
"To say I wasn't expecting a cancer diagnosis was an understatement - at 31 no one ever expects to be told such a thing. At the time, I was just getting on with my life - loving my job as a youth worker, getting fit at the gym, and filling my spare time with football, snowboarding and drums! With very few symptoms, I never expected my trip to the doctors to end with being admitted to hospital and being told I had leukaemia. As my intensive chemotherapy kicked off I was given more heartbreaking news - further tests had confirmed that my leukaemia was actually what is known as Philadelphia Positive, and therefore even if I made it into remission, the chances of it staying that way were very very slim. My only hope would be a stem cell transplant.
Amazingly, there were a few matches for me on the international donor register and I received my new cells from an amazing young lady in the US. Without heroes like this, people like me and thousands of others wouldn't have that second chance in life.
My drum teacher, Scott, has been amazing in signing up to be a hero in waiting and one day might get the call to save someone's life. I would love if people reading this could do the same and also encourage their friends and family to sign up too! I consider myself incredibly lucky and am so grateful to my donor - by sharing my story I hope that others too can share my luck!"
"Lucy started drum lessons with me around the back end of October, and we have gotten to know each other really well over the past couple of months, and already we have flown through the core materials of Grade 1. When Lucy told me she wanted to do drum lessons after her diagnosis, I was totally overwhelmed and inspired by her story, even now I am so grateful to be a part of her journey. It really made me reflect on my own life and helped me appreciate how precious life really is! That's when I decided I wanted to support Lucy and others like her in this situation, so I decided I would become a Stem Cell Donor and get my name on the donor register.
When I completed my application i realised on the website it tells you how many people have registered, and I was super shocked to find out only 9,818,171 had registered to DKMS Worldwide. That's when I realised we need to spread the word and get as many people to sign up to this as possible".
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