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There really is no such thing as an average man: tall, short, bearded, sarcastic, shy, funny, smart – you’re all unique, and it’s your one of a kind DNA that could save a life. 

The guys in the photos below couldn’t be more different, but they have one incredible thing in common; they all decided to join the Anthony Nolan stem cell register and are ready to save a stranger’s life.

There’s nothing average about that. So spread the word. 

Click on the images below to find out more about our anything but average men. 

 
Michael

Michael's Story

Michael's Story

I’m not a superhuman or anything like that. I think most people would do the same if they knew they had the opportunity to save someone’s life.

I’m a blood donor, I’m down as an organ donor, and now I’m a stem cell donor – I’m not a superhuman or anything like that. I think most people would do the same if they knew they had the opportunity to save someone’s life.

I joined the register in September 2011 at my university’s Freshers' Fair. I was probably one of their easiest sign ups because I saw it and thought immediately, ‘yeah, why not?’. I already give blood and I’m down as an organ donor, so why would I not sign up to be a stem cell donor?

I would say to someone thinking of joining the register that they should 100% do it. My experience of donating was so positive, and it was all so fascinating. Anthony Nolan helped make the whole process really easy and convenient. It was all so straightforward, four appointments, a few phone calls, and five hours donating.

To be honest, the bit I was most nervous about was sitting down for five hours, but even that wasn’t that bad. The bed was super comfortable, I was well looked after, and I sat and binge watched House of Cards on Netflix.

Ainesh

Ainesh's Story

Ainesh's Story

Anthony Nolan gives hope to those afflicted by blood cancer, and to be part of it is incredible.

After learning about the work being done by Marrow in saving people’s lives, I decided that getting involved and working alongside other volunteers to recruit donors would be rewarding and worthwhile.

Most young men know that blood cancer is a serious issue, and many are even aware of the charity work being done to help this issue, such as Anthony Nolan. However, I think that most young men are simply not conscious of this issue; as it does not have an immediate impact in their lives, they are not motivated to seek out ways of joining the register.

I would say that it is one of the most worthwhile causes to get involved in, as the possibility of saving someone’s life through just a donation of stem cells and having such an impact on someone’s future is amazing. Anthony Nolan gives hope to those afflicted by blood cancer, and to be part of it is incredible.

Jeremy

Jeremy's Story

Jeremy's Story

Donating stem cells is so much easier and less painful than people think.

I grew up in fairly middling circumstances. My family weren’t particularly rich, nor were they poor. I grew up in a relatively small dull town in the West Country near Bristol. I’m not from particularly grand or exciting circumstances.

But, when somebody called me and said I could potentially help someone, I thought, what sort of person would you have to be to say no? Yes, of course I want to do it!

Donating stem cells is so much easier and less painful than people think. I think people still think it’s a surgical procedure and you’re going to wake up feeling like hell. Actually, all I did was sit down for three hours with a couple of cannulas in my arm and it wasn’t really painful at all – the worst of it is having to sit in the same position for three hours.

It’s not scary, it’s actually remarkably easy, and I think there is still a lot of myth busting to be done.

Vithnu

Vit's Story

Vit's Story

I’d consider myself to be an average man, but I do think joining the stem cell register makes you a bit of a superhero!

I’d consider myself to be an average man, but I do think joining the stem cell register makes you a bit of a superhero!

With TV and the internet bombarding us with celebrities, sports stars, and at times questionable politicians, I think it's important to take a step back and remember that most of us in reality are just going about our days and doing our jobs.

I joined the register after seeing the appeal for Vithiya Alphons on Facebook last year. It may sound slightly self-centred but I joined since she was from the Tamil community like me, and before this I hadn't really thought about it.

I feel I should have signed up earlier, however now I'm glad I signed up as I've had the opportunity to be part of KCL Marrow and join in the wonderful work Marrow do. Marrow is so important because it has a significant effect on people around the world. Not many people would have even heard of Anthony Nolan without the help of Marrow. Volunteering just a little bit of your time goes such a long way.

Olivier

Olivier's Story

Olivier's Story

I don’t think I can ever really fully understand that I’ve saved someone’s life.

When I was asked to join the register I felt really flattered because I’m not allowed to give blood. It felt nice that I could help other people without being stigmatised.

I definitely think there is a feeling that gay and bisexual men cannot donate their stem cells because we cannot donate blood. Joining almost felt like an act of spite – I’m helping now even if you didn’t want me to before!

I received a letter to confirm I was a match and it reduced me to tears. It really hit me that I could save someone’s life by doing something so straightforward. I just happened to be walking past the campus that day, signed up and now I’ve given someone a second chance of life.

I would tell anyone thinking of singing up to the register that it’s definitely worth doing. Anthony Nolan doesn’t discriminate. It’s a life changing experience and so fascinating. I don’t think I can ever really fully understand that I’ve saved someone’s life.

Mark

Mark's Story

Mark's Story

I found out that gay men could donate with Anthony Nolan. It was a nice surprise to see that I could join.

I joined the register in 2011, after my Dad received a stem cell transplant to treat his Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia. Even if it wasn’t for my dad, I wanted to sign up because I didn’t want someone else going through what we went through. It was something practical that we could do to help, it was a real no brainer for us.

I found out that gay men could donate with Anthony Nolan. When I first went on the website I was hoping that I could do something. It was a nice surprise to see that I could join.

I was absolutely buzzing to donate. The hospital looked after me so well. After my donation, an Anthony Nolan volunteer was there to check that I was ok and gave me a goodie bag – which was a lovely touch! They said how amazing it was that I’d done this but I said that it was my pleasure. I really meant it.

Because my family had been there as well, I knew the impact my donation would have. That’s why I signed up, to be there for someone else that is going through what we went through.

Ahmir

Amir's Story

Amir's Story

An average man is content with being average, I am not, I wish to impact people's lives in a positive manner.

An average man is content with being average, I am not, I wish to impact people's lives in a positive manner.

I joined the Anthony Nolan register in September 2016 because I would love to be able to help someone live a full and healthy life – if I can impact someone in that sense and help them live and have another chance at life, why not? Why not help when you can, that's why I joined Anthony Nolan and I am looking forward to getting the call that I have been matched with someone!

I think the reason why so many young men do not join the register is because of the lack of knowledge on what Anthony Nolan is and about Marrow, its university volunteer groups. I myself was not interested two years ago because I was a bit ignorant and did not care enough to learn about it. As soon as I did hear about what Marrow is and how they help people, I quickly signed up and even dedicated my time to getting more people to join the register.

Nick

Nick's Story

Nick's Story

Everybody has something special or interesting about them – mine is that I was able to save someone in their hour of need.

Everyone thinks they are more average than they actually are. But everybody has something special or interesting about them – mine is that I was able to save someone in their hour of need.

The opportunity to save a life is something incredible and so rare. It should be on everyone’s bucket list. You put in about 40 hours of your time total and could be giving someone an extra 10 years on their life; that’s an incredible investment.

I was excited at the prospect of being able to save someone’s life. It made me feel proud to be doing such a good thing, and thankful that I decided to sign up in the first place. The opportunity to save a life seemed so distant at the start but when that email came through it really started to feel really possible.

I came to University looking for a way to volunteer myself; and it’s thanks to Brunel Marrow that I found such a worthwhile thing to get involved with.

This March, help us recruit as many lifesaving young men to our stem cell register as possible.