Leukaemia survivor to meet her Bedford lifesaver

Bedford resident Julie Healy, will come face to face with the girl whose life she saved for the first time. Julie donated her blood stem cells to Ella Paul, 3, who had leukaemia and needed a lifesaving stem cell transplant (often known as a bone marrow transplant.).  Ella and her parents, Mark Paul and Jackie Dancer, will travel to Bedford to meet Julie on Saturday 9 April.

Julie, 49, joined the Anthony Nolan register 30 years ago, when she spotted a stall at a steam rally event.  Anthony Nolan saves the lives of people with blood cancer by matching them to people willing to donate their stem cells or bone marrow.

“I’ve always been a blood donor, so I didn’t think anything of joining the stem cell register, but I didn’t expect to come up as a match after all this time,” explained Julie. “The donation itself wasn’t that scary – it’s a bit like giving blood but over a few hours. For one day out of my life, I’ve been able to help this little girl. I’m over the moon about meeting her and her family.”

“It’s quite rare for a donor and the transplant recipient to meet, as they’re not allowed direct contact for the first two years after the transplant and many people choose not to meet after that,” explains Natalie Keen, head of donor recruitment at Anthony Nolan. “But Ella’s recovery shows that by joining Anthony Nolan’s register, you could save someone’s life. We particularly need more young men to register, as they’re most likely to be asked to donate.”

To find out more about Anthony Nolan, or to join the register, visit www.anthonynolan.org or call 0303 303 0303.

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For more information, or for an interview with Julie, please contact Victoria Moffett on 020 7424 6619 / 07825 937920 or email victoria.moffett@anthonynolan.org

Please note that since July 2010, Anthony Nolan has dropped the word ‘Trust’ from its name.

Anthony Nolan is a pioneering charity that saves the lives of people with blood cancer. Every day,  we use our register to match remarkable donors willing to donate their blood stem cells, or bone marrow, to people they have never met who desperately need lifesaving transplants.

We provide two potentially lifesaving transplants every day, but for every patient we can help, there is another who sadly we can’t because no match can be found.

To join the register, you must be aged between 18 and 40, weigh more than 8 stone (51kg) and be in general good health.

For more information on the donating process, or to apply to join the register, visit www.anthonynolan.org or call 0303 303 0303.

On average, 65 people a day in the UK are diagnosed with a blood cancer – that’s one person every 23 minutes. There are nearly 1,600 people in the UK in need of a bone marrow transplant.  This is usually their last chance of survival.

70% of patients will not find a matching donor from within their families. 80% of donations take place via PBSC (peripheral blood stem cell collection).  This is an outpatient appointment and is similar to donating blood.

Most donors talk about how wonderful it is to have saved someone’s life.

All new donors are welcome but young males and people from ethnic minority and mixed race backgrounds are particularly encouraged to join the register.

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