“When I saw that a friend had shared a post about Strength to Give on Facebook, I was immediately curious. I’ve always wanted to help other people in any way I can. I’m currently an organ donor, but despite being in a happy, loving, long-term relationship, being a same-sex one, I am restricted from donating blood. I was thrilled to learn that your sexuality makes zero difference to whether you can be a blood stem cell donor or not.
Being a doctor, I am acutely aware of the impact that blood stem cell donation can have on some of our sickest patients. I can only imagine the feeling of being a patient and needing a cure, and playing the waiting game, waiting desperately for a match. I figured if I joined the Registry, that would improve the chance, if only slightly, for someone to be given a second chance at life.
I couldn’t believe it when I got the call from the Registry letting me know that I am someone’s match, I was so excited to be starting the journey! I felt lucky that I could be giving another person such a gift. I immediately said “YES!”. I was willing to do whatever was required of me to get this happening. I remember feeling really lucky like I’d been handpicked or was “the chosen one”. I was about to give the gift of life to a perfect stranger.
The level of emotion and pride I felt post-donation surprised me. I didn’t expect to feel so strongly. When I thought about it, the few hours involved in the donation process equated to such a life-changing impact for the patient. If tables were turned, and I needed a match, I could only imagine being told the news that someone out there was going to save my life. That’s what affected me the most, I think.
To anyone thinking about registering with Strength to Give, I say do it! There aren’t very many ways that you can make this sort of impact on the life of another person. So many people are need of a donor match and the more people on the Registry means, the higher the chance of finding their lifesaver. The donation process is super easy, just like giving blood. I had no hesitation, and I have zero regrets.”