When Connor went to the gym one day he never knew it would end up with him saving someones life.
He joined the Anthony Nolan donor register a few years ago when his friend caught him leaving the gym and asked him to register – saying it would only take two minutes.
Much to his surprise, Connor was then contacted in 2015 by Anthony Nolan who said that his DNA was a match for someone in need of a stem cell transplant. After passing the relevant health checks, Connor went on to spend 4 hours at a hospital in London donating stem cells on 7th September 2015
A lot of friends and family kept saying it was pretty painful, but when I got more information about PBSC (Peripheral blood stem cell collection) it was a relief. It’s the easiest thing to do possible, sitting down for a few hours? I can do that!
The reaction I kept on getting was 'You know that’s going to be really painful' and 'You’ll be drilled into' - it felt good to tell them it wasn’t going to hurt.
I was nervous on the day, just a fear of the unknown I guess. I had my mum with me and I was just hoping it all goes well. Within 10 minutes of me sat there and the nurses said 'You’re up and running' [you think] 'Oh this is it'. To be honest a real anti climax.
If you are thinking about registering to become a donor, it’s an unlikely chance but if you do get picked, you get to go to London and wander around a few days. Turn up, get treated well, it doesn’t hurt and within the afternoon you can be walking round enjoying yourself... someone else’s life could be changed and you don’t even notice.
Just three days after donating stem cells for a total stranger, Connor registered to run the 2016 Edinburgh Marathon Festival half marathon. Connor has told us that he has registered for this fundraising run because after his experience of donating stem cells, he understands the costs involved in this life saving donating procedure. Connor was not previously aware that the register operates on an international level, and was amazed that his stem cells might be being sent to someone in need on the other side of the world.
Donating stem cells was much easier and more simple than I thought it was going to be, and knowing I was helping someone else made me feel good. That’s why I want to raise funds for Anthony Nolan through Edinburgh Marathon Festival; to give more back to this cause.
Learn more about Anthony Nolan via their website.