What are some of your hobbies and interests?
My hobbies at the moment are based around fitness and bodybuilding. Predominantly being time spent in the gym.
When did you know you needed a bone marrow transplant?
I needed a bone marrow transplant because my blood cancer relapsed, meaning chemotherapy would no longer work in the long run. The transplant was the only option. I’ve had cancer twice and in the lead up to the second diagnosis I was unwell for about 2 weeks prior to diagnosis. Due to my experience the first time I was aware of the symptoms of lowering blood counts. For example, I would run out of breath easily and would find myself prone to bruising much easier.
How long have you been waiting for your lung transplant?
I had 2 rounds of chemo in the lead up to the transplant process, I was diagnosed at the start of December 2015 and got my transplant mid march 2016 – so 3 and a half months before I received my transplant.
How does the bone marrow transplant process work for a recipient?
The transplant process is simple. Your donor is hooked up to a machine similar to one used for blood donation. The donor’s blood is sent through a centrifuge and the stem cells from their blood are extracted. After receiving a high dose chemo, I practically left with no working bone marrow, so they transplant the donated marrow to me intravenously through my chest port.
How is the recovery process going for you?
Recovery is fantastic! My doctors said I was one of the fastest they have ever seen. A bone marrow transplant is a serious thing, which typically takes at least 6 months to recover from. However there are different ongoing effects it can leave on people after the procedure. The key to a successful recovery is a healthy diet (lots of calories), exercise and a positive attitude
Do you know anything about your donor?
I only know where my donor lives, and how old he is. A 35-year-old male from Seattle, Washington. I plan to meet him when I’m allowed, and when I do I would express my extreme gratitude to his generosity for joining the bone marrow donor registry.
What would you like to tell the people who are not registered as an organ, eye or tissue donor?
I would recommend everyone to register for the bone marrow donor registry, it is a non invasive donation similar to a blood test which can save someone’s life
What would you tell someone who is struggling through life’s trials?
My advice to anyone struggling is to keep your eyes on the prize. There were days during my treatment that were the worst days of my life, but I always had the end goal in sight and never gave up until I reached it. Stay focused, stay motivated.