Alison Clist, a 28-year-old from Bristol, was one of hundreds of people inspired to join the stem cell register in 2014 after a viral campaign for a man named Mike Brandon, who needed a transplant.
Alison said, ‘I’d never heard of donating stem cells before and I didn’t know how you could go about it. I always donate blood and signed up for organ donation but I’d never thought of registering to donate stem cells as you don’t really hear about it.
‘When I heard about Mike’s story it just made sense to sign up. He’s about the same age as me; you don’t think people our age could go through this and you take your health for granted.’
Alison got an email two years after signing up to say that she was a match, and went on to donate her stem cells in March 2016.
‘To hear I was a match was something really special out of an otherwise ordinary day. I felt quite privileged to be able to do this.’
Alison has been busting myths among her friends and family about what donation involves.
‘There are a lot of people who assume it would be a big operation and quite painful. But when I explained how easy it was and that’s it’s similar to giving blood they were really surprised.
‘It was great to be able to donate to a stranger and hopefully give them more special moments in the future. There will be people that love them and things they want to do, so it’s nice to think that I could be the person to help them do it.’
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