Following our #inspiredbymillie advent calendar, we’ll be sharing three stories from people who signed up to the register during Millie’s original patient appeal, and went on to donate stem cells.
‘It was awe-inspiring to think the bag of cells at the end of my bed was a life-line for someone else’
Mike Thorogood, 34, from Aberdeen, works as an Offshore Drilling Supervisor in the North Sea
“My sister was one of Millie's best friends growing up, and living just over the hill our families saw a lot of each other.
“When Millie was still alive, I joined the Anthony Nolan register at a recruitment event in Alford as I wanted to do something to help during her illness.
“In all honesty, I didn't think about it much afterwards and never thought I’d be a match for a stranger! Then after 7 years a package came arrived at my parents house. It was from Anthony Nolan, saying I was a potential match. I had to check with the doctor what impact it would have on my offshore medical (the answer was none - Air Force pilots donate, so all was OK!) and then I got on with it. I donated my stem cells on 27th July 2010.
“All the staff at Anthony Nolan were wonderful before and during my donation and it was an straightforward and painless procedure. The only change I made prior to the donation was to stop commuting by bicycle to work in case I had an accident. I didn't know the patient I was donating to, it was quite awe inspiring to think that the bag that was removed from the machine at the end of the day was a life line for someone I have never met.
“After giving it a lot of thought, I chose not to hear an update on how the patient was doing, as I think I was preferring not to receive potentially bad news, although if they wanted to contact me that was OK. Even four years later this still doesn't feel like a straight forward decision.
“I think the current #InspiredbyMillie campaign is wonderful and it’s been amazing to see the diverse range of celebs involved, especially David Harewood.”