A SELFLESS father has donated millions of his stem cells to help a patient with a life-threatening illness after he came up as a match for the sufferer. Joe Marlow, from Tean, had been on a stem cell register for over three years after becoming involved with organisation DKMS (standing for “Deutsche KnochenMarkSpenderdatei” which means “German Bone Marrow Donor File” in German) through a family member. Joe recently received the news that he had come up as a match for a patient and was asked if he could go down to London as soon as it was possible so the patient could receive treatment.
Joe admitted that he had forgotten that he had put his name down on the donation register and was surprised when the call came through.
Joe, a customer assistant, told the Times and Echo: “I had completely forgot that I’d signed up, I hadn’t thought about it since I did.
“The call came completely out of the blue and caught me off guard.
“At first I didn’t know how to feel about it but as time went on I thought ‘I’ve got to do it, I’ve got to try’ because if it was either of my two children or a family member, I’d do everything I could to do everything they needed.”
After going to his GP and having blood tests that confirmed that he was indeed a match, Joe travelled down to London towards the end of November where he was “hooked up to a machine”, had the blood taken out of his arm before having the stem cells harvested with his blood then being pumped back into his body after this process.
Joe further explained: “They said they had to take four million stem cells but in they end they took 8.2 million.
“I felt very tired and had a few aches and pains but really, that’s a small price to pay in comparison to whose life needs saving at the end of the day.”
Asked if he would do it again, Joe said he’d have no hesitation in doing so.
“I’d do it again one million per cent,” the 29-year-old stated.
“You can’t do it again for another three years after but if it ever came around again, I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
“It’s a chance to save somebody’s life – for them it’s a matter of life and death and they need that process.
“I would encourage anyone thinking about it to sign up, the friends I have spoken to about it have all signed up.
“It’s just trying to raise awareness of something that is free of charge and does not have much impact on you but means a lot to someone else.”
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