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Life can be scary,
but lifesaving definitely isn’t.

For someone with blood cancer, an amazing stranger donating their stem cells could be their best chance of survival. And if you sign up to the Anthony Nolan stem cell register and one day come up as a genetic match, you could be that amazing stranger.

There are lots of myths about donating stem cells, but never fear, we’re here with the facts.

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If you ever come up as a match for a patient, we’ll be in touch! We’ll give you all the information you need, be on hand for any questions and we’ll never leave you hanging for a reply.

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We’ll organise the whole thing – including dates that suit you, and arranging and paying for your travel and accommodation. Our super organised team have got it covered.

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There are two ways you might be asked to donate: 

  • 90% of people donate via their bloodstream - you’ll receive a course of injections for a few days before, and then go into hospital for the afternoon where stem cells are collected from your bloodstream over 4-5 hours while you put your feet up, plug in your phone and binge on the latest boxset.
  • 10% of people donate through their bone marrow under a general anaesthetic, as this is sometimes better for the patient. You’ll stay in hospital for a couple of nights - donors say they feel a bit tired and achy afterwards, but rest and relaxation will help.

What do real donors say?

'Amazing!’ ‘So lucky.’ ‘A bit nerve-wracking.’ Donors have a lot of words to describe donating stem cells, but scary isn’t one of them...

'I expected it to be more painful.

'There's a few aches and pains here and there, but everyone informed me that's kind of normal.

'Yeah, it feels fine, no pain at all.'

- Jamie, pictured donating his stem cells below.

Jamie donating stem cells

Watch our donation animation

This animation takes you through a lifesaving journey - from getting the call if you come up as a genetic match for someone in need of a transplant, to the step by step process of donating your stem cells through your bloodstream or bone marrow.