Golders Green bone marrow donor: ‘I’m so pleased I donated’
PUBLISHED: 15:56 04 February 2016 | UPDATED: 16:06 04 February 2016
Dan, 26 from Golders Green, revealed what it’s really like to donate life-saving bone marrow
An appeal to find a bone marrow donor for a Belsize Park cancer patient has seen more than 10,000 people across the world join the transplant register.
The Match4Lara campaign has been working with blood cancer charity, Anthony Nolan, in the search for a donor for 24-year-old Leukemia patient Lara Casalotti.
The Hampstead-based charity works with critically ill patients to match them with potential donors from around the world.
The Ham&High spoke to one of these life-saving donors, Daniel Eggleston, from Golders Green, who described how a simple pledge can save a life.
Dan, 26, had been on the register for a few years and was studying at Bristol University when, in 2012, he received a call confirming he was a match.
Unusually, he was informed the donation would make use of the rare bone marrow harvesting technique, rather than the more common PBSC method.
Dan said: “I assumed I’d donate via PBSC as that is the most common process, but I pretty much made my mind up right away to say yes and, once I had looked into the process and knew there was no real risk, I started to feel excited.
“My friends kept asking if it was going to be painful, but I was thinking that I have the chance to potentially save someone’s life.”
Dan donated at the London Clinic, one of three transplant centres in the city. “As I lay back on my bed and chose my fry up for breakfast, I thought to myself, ‘I’ll have to do this more often!’”.
The procedure, which requires a general anesthetic, was straightforward and Dan was out of theatre in under an hour and walking around by the end of the day.
“After the procedure, I had some soreness around the extraction sites and felt a little tired and achy, but I went for a walk up and down the corridor that afternoon.”
In 2013 Dan got a job at Anthony Nolan working in the lab analysing DNA in the saliva and blood samples provided by registrants.
He has since been nicknamed ‘Donor Dan’ by colleagues and says that working at Anthony Nolan emphasises the significance of what he has done.
“Working here and knowing the whole process and the effect it could have on a patient’s life really hit home,” he said.
“I felt nervous about undergoing the bone marrow extraction but I’m so pleased I donated.
“It was straightforward, the whole thing was all done so quickly and I was playing football with the guys from work just a week and a half later!”
For more information on signing up to the bone marrow register, visit https://www.anthonynolan.org/