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Hi, my Story:- I am a Baby Cord blood transplant patient

I was the first UK resident to receive baby cord blood which had been collected in this country and the 1st that Anthony Nolan supplied.

During a routine check-up in October 2011, My blood test results showed that there could be something wrong the doctor suspected I may have an underlying condition and referred me to have a bone marrow biopsy.

On 14 October 2011, I was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). It was a terrible shock, not only for me but for my wife and 3 kids.

I underwent three rounds of chemotherapy, to get me into full remission.

Doctors told me from the start that my only chance of a cure was a bone marrow transplant. So my brother was tested and he was not a match. Anthony Nolan searched the bone marrow register in the UK, then looked worldwide. In their entire search, only one person turned out to be a match for me. Unfortunately, due to a change in her circumstances since joining her national registry, she was not able to go ahead with the donation.

The decision was made to go for a cord blood transplant, because cord blood samples tend to contain fewer blood stem cells than a bone marrow sample, cord blood is often used in children and smaller women. Doctors told me they would need to find two suitable samples for me to make sure the transplant had a chance of success. However the match criteria is lower than adult to adult so getting a match for a white European is easier.

Incredibly, two cord samples had been donated by two different mothers in the UK and they were a match for me. It turned out I was the first UK resident to receive a cord which had been collected from 2 mothers in the UK and the first form the Anthony Nolan cord bank.

I went through 1 final round of Chemo and also total body radiotherapy just before receiving the cord blood transplant on 9 February 2012. Recovering from the treatment was a long process and it was about four months before I started to feel anywhere near back to normal. But, in September 2012, I was able to return to work.

Before all of this happened, despite having 3 children of my own, I had no idea that blood from the umbilical cord and placenta could be used to save a life. It’s such a waste that is often just thrown away after the birth.

I’m so thankful to the two women who donated their cord blood. They have given me a future and, without them, I wouldn't be here to enjoy all those little things in life that you take for granted and most importantly the extra time I have with my family.’

2 years post transplant i do have an issue with my Kidneys, I don't have a fixed blood group and a little GVHD but life is good.

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