Once a person donates stem cells, they have just 72 hours to get to the recipient. We rely on a brilliant team of volunteers to take the stem cells where they need to go.
Click below to find out more about the countries our incredible volunteer couriers visited to collect stem cells and lymphocytes in 2016.
One of our volunteers, Fred (far left in the photo above), has been a courier for over three years and has done over 125 trips.
'It’s fun, it’s challenging, and when I deliver the cells to the transplant centre it gives me a great sense of satisfaction. I know I’m only a tiny part of the team that provides someone with a blood stem cell transplant. But I still love it.
'Some of my friends think I’m slightly mad – “Why would you want to spend a lot of time on planes and trains and in airport departure lounges”, they ask me. But there’s method to my madness – I know I’m doing my bit to make a life-saving transplant happen. That’s not mad, is it?
'Being a courier can be hard work – long trips, late nights, bad weather, getting lost in foreign cities. But it can be fun too: when I travelled to Nova Scotia to pick up stem cells I managed to squeeze in an afternoon of ocean kayaking.
'For me, the best thing about being an Anthony Nolan courier is the moment when I hand over the stem cells to the people at the Transplant Centre. It’s a moment of great satisfaction and great relief – I’ve managed to complete the trip without leaving the precious stem cells on a train or plane.'