Kind & Humble
DKMS and Stemcell Donation
In June of 2018, our son, Ben was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia and Lyme Disease. After the first round of chemotherapy, he was deemed high risk and so the next step was a Stemcell Transplant.
As we in his immediate family were not donor matches, DKMS helped us last August with an Appeal for an unrelated donor. After a few weeks of waiting, we were given the amazing news that there was a donor match for Ben. The utter relief we felt, knowing he would get a second chance at life, was immeasurable.
Ben’s transplant went ahead last Autumn and he came home last December and recovered well for the first five to six months, thanks to this Angel who we do not know.
It’s easy to sign up, if you’re between 17 and 55, just go to www.dkms.org.uk and register your details. They’ll send you a swab kit, which takes about three minutes to do and then you pop it back in the post and await your ‘Lifesaver’ card.
Donating is a bit like giving blood and is much more straight forward these days. I am an absolute advocate for stemcell donation because I know the reality of all that can do for a person. An act of unbelievable kindness gave us several more months with our beautiful Ben.
In July of this year, his Leukaemia returned and he relapsed. Following one round of chemotherapy, we waited in anticipation of it having worked. It seemed that the initial hit had looked to be working. However, in the fortnight that followed, I noticed his gums start to swell and although we hoped to be on a path to a second stem cell transplant at Great Ormond Street Hospital, on the day we had that positive conversation, we were also informed that Ben had now had a refractory relapse. This meant that the chemo had not worked and he was not going to be able to be well enough to take advantage of the transplant.
This was devastating and once home, our boy passed the next day on Saturday 10 August.
It’s the intention to give help, the intention to try to save a life, the gift we were given to spend further precious time with our son, which we will always be grateful for, which is why www.DKMS.org.uk/en is such a wonderful charity. Please consider donating funds or becoming a stem cell donor yourself. You could one day be someone’s magical match and afford another family like us, time.
Never Give Up Faith
A few years back, I wrote a song for missing people. I felt compelled to do something and the song literally just appeared in my head, so I wrote it down at speed and with a little help, it came to fruition over a year or two in several forms and was recorded by the lovely Katy Shotter. You can purchase it on iTunes here.
Be Kind & Humble
I'm definitely one for doing what I can when I can and I know in each of us, there is that potential; a smile for a stranger or a kind word, a shoulder for someone on hard times who may really need it. I try and be kindful and mindful as my sister says and never to judge. You never know what someone who talks happily is holding inside. There are plenty of people who may benefit from your kindness much more than you realise, so I am going to try and do a random act of kindness for someone every day, even if it's the simplest thing.