Health worker's bone marrow match

A HEALTH worker from Suffolk has done her bit to help save the life of a leukaemia victim after donating bone marrow.

Anthony Bond

A HEALTH worker from Suffolk has done her bit to help save the life of a leukaemia victim after donating bone marrow.

Katie Green, 28, from Leiston, signed up to The Anthony Nolan Trust's bone marrow register two years ago and was recently contacted to be told she was a match for somebody in need.

She said: “When they told me I was definitely a match I was a bit nervous but I still was absolutely certain I wanted to go ahead.

“I felt quite emotional about it all and even shed a few tears that night - the possibility of saving someone's life was quite overwhelming. The whole process was really quite easy - I felt discomfort more than pain and I was so well looked after and supported - I think that made it far easier than I thought it would be.”

The Anthony Nolan Trust saves lives by recruiting new donors to the UK's most successful bone marrow register.

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The charity urgently needs to recruit more donors for the 16,000 leukaemia victims worldwide currently looking for a bone marrow match.

Katie said: “A friend of mine who worked at a local surgery was holding a clinic for The Anthony Nolan Trust back in 2006 - she suggested I go along and find out more. I didn't know anything about becoming a bone marrow donor before then, but I thought if I could help someone it would be a good thing, so I joined the register. To be honest, I didn't really think I'd actually get called up.”

The trust said that because individual genetic makeup is so varied, the chance of finding a suitable donor can be slim. Many searches for patients are unsuccessful - a bone marrow donor whose tissue type matches theirs could mean the difference between life and death.

The Anthony Nolan Trust says it urgently needs more people aged 18 - 40 to join the register and potentially save a life.

Katie said: “I feel proud of myself for having done this and quite humbled by the whole experience. It only inconvenienced me for a couple of weeks but the results for someone else are huge. I think people still think that being a bone marrow donor is a painful process, but I know from my own experience that it's not. You don't know what's around the corner - next year it could be you needing this sort of help. I'd be very grateful if someone did the same for me if I ever needed it.”

If you are aged between 18 and 40 and want to help save a life contact The Anthony Nolan Trust on 0207 284 1234.