Stem cell donor wants a healthy new year for transplant patient


Danni Allen is giving the ultimate Rosh Hashanah present - the gift of life to a cancer patient in need of a transplant.

The Norwood employee, who lives in Bushey, joined the Anthony Nolan charity's bone marrow register as a donor five years ago after discovering her father had leukaemia - he has since made a full recovery.

Now she has been contacted by the charity telling her that she is a potential match. "I was in tears," she said. "It was the best feeling ever to even be considered."

Ms Allen will undergo the less common method of stem cell donation, which involves surgery over two nights, performed under general anaesthetic, during which doctors will take cells from her pelvis before transfusing them into the anonymous recipient. If the recipient's body accepts the cells, it will begin fighting the disease.

She was not scared of the operation, and with the odds of being a match at around one in 1,200, she was just delighted to have the opportunity of saving a life.

"They could be anywhere in the world, so to be a match with someone, somewhere, is quite a lot to get your head around.

"It's a great feeling for me to be the match, but to be that person [the recipient] and have that feeling that they have a match - I don't know how that must feel for them. I hope they're just as happy and excited as I am."

Ms Allen called for more people to volunteer as donors. "I would definitely encourage other Jews to join the register. September is Blood Cancer Awareness Month, so now is a really good time to sign up.

"That's all I want. The more of us on the register, the better."

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