A couple of weeks ago, university student Libbie, who received a stem cell transplant to treat blood cancer, met the stranger who helped save her life.
Libbie was initially diagnosed with leukaemia at age 13 and relapsed aged 15, meaning a stem cell transplant from a suitable donor was her only chance of survival. There was no match, prompting the family to put out a worldwide appeal for a donor. Eventually a match was found in 21-year-old Ethan and thanks to his donation, Libbie was given a second chance of life.
In getting to know Ethan, Libbie’s family discovered he adored LFC, yet he’d never seen a live match or even been to the city. They wanted to change this. And so, a letter was sent to the club from Libbie’s mum, Susan, hoping to try to find a way to thank Ethan.
With the help of NIVEA MEN, Liverpool FC organised a big surprise for Ethan. He arrived at Anfield to meet Libbie and her family and thought he was heading on a tour of the stadium but had no idea he was also going to meet his hero, Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker.
Ethan’s decision to sign up to the Anthony Nolan stem cell register is what saved Libbie’s life.
He says: ‘I urge everyone to do it. It’s so easy to do and helps so many people.’
Henny Braund, Chief Executive of Anthony Nolan says:
“Anthony Nolan’s selfless stem cell donors can make an incredible difference to the lives of blood cancer patients. Ethan has given Libbie a second chance of life, and for that he should be extremely proud.
“Every day, at least five people need our help finding a matching unrelated stem cell donor and we want to be able to find a match for every person who needs a transplant. We particularly need more young men to join the Anthony Nolan stem cell register, as they are most likely to be chosen to donate. By signing up, you can give hope to blood cancer patients, like Libbie, in the future.”
If you’re aged 16–30 and are in general good health click here to join the Anthony Nolan register.
Watch the emotional moment Ethan meets Libbie for the first time here