A couple of months ago I received a call from the Anthony Nolan trust. I leapt to my feet – my heart in my mouth – as a nice young man called David explained that I had been identified as having a special tissue type that required further testing.
I always knew I was special. Few people believed me but now it’s official; I have bodily fluids to prove it!
Though I have to admit I was slightly disappointed (as illogical as that is) that I had not been called upon to help someone at that time. It not being too long since I had signed up and I was still very passionate about sharing my stem cells with anyone who would have them!
But further testing is good – I thought – that will still help! David explained to me that further testing would help scientists to understand different types of tissue and to customise treatments to an individual’s needs. This is known as personalised medicine and is one of the big things in cancer treatment at the moment.
The further testing involved giving a blood sample at my local GP’s surgery, and sending it back in the post.
I had no problem with that in principle. People give blood all the time; blood donation services save countless lives across the world. No big deal. Though I had to admit I was a touch nervous. Again; it’s completely daft but I’d never given blood before and I wasn’t sure how much they’d take or how it would affect me. I just needed to block it from my mind so I didn’t dwell on it.
However it turned out I had no time to dwell on it or to be nervous as I had to squeeze the blood test in between work, packing for my holiday, fundraising commitments and job interviews! Before I knew it I was sat in the nurse’s office looking at the ceiling to avoid the sight of the needle and it was all over so quickly that it seemed like such a blur!
A second bump to my self esteem and sense of making a difference; safe in the knowledge I was part of something special. That made me happy and and I went on with my little life with little more thought about things.
It took a couple of months to hear anything else, until an email a couple of weeks ago confirming my blood had been analysed and noted on the register officially. Even then in the whirlwind of getting ready for Relay 2013 I barely gave it any thought; let alone consider I’d actually be called upon!