Christiern Francis is a Search and Selection Coordinator, part of a team responsible for finding and matching donors with patients. Christiern also donated his stem cells to a patient in 2012.
‘I was asked if I would join the Anthony Nolan register at a university event. After being fully informed about the process by one of the fantastic volunteers, I could not have been happier to sign up.
‘Three or four months later I received a call from Paul, one of the donor provision coordinators, to say I was a match for a male living in Europe.
‘People told me how impressed they were and what a good thing I was doing, ‘saving someone’s life’. Having not thought too deeply about it, these comments made me realise what a big thing this was, even though it just felt logical and straightforward.
‘A couple of weeks later, I received my course of GCSF injections and was off to London. I was hooked up to the PBSC machine, and after four-ish hours watching TV and chatting, it was done. My cells were off to go and help a complete stranger.
‘Three years later, I was fortunate enough to get a job with Anthony Nolan as a Search and Selection Coordinator. The job, although sometimes challenging, is hugely rewarding – it’s great knowing I’m now able to give something back and really make a difference in people’s lives.
‘Two weeks into the job I received the news that my recipient was alive. To date, this is the most satisfying update I have ever received; knowing that somewhere a family hasn’t had to unfairly lose a brother, son or father.
‘Becoming a donor ended up influencing me, and gave me a chance to channel my enjoyment of science into something really worthwhile and rewarding. And best of all, it’s positively impacted a stranger’s life.’
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