Stem Cells, Cancer and Life Lessons

Posted in: News on November 4, 2015

Staff Blog
Rowena McKenna
Caseload Support Officer - Staffordshire Cancer Advocacy 


A blog posted on Twitter caught my eye, not only because of the volume of swearing in the initial post, but because it tells the story of a man who is quite unwell but buried his head in the sand about everything that was going on with his body that wasn’t supposed to be happening (something which many of us have done in the past I’m sure). Also his blog seems to resonate with thousands and thousands of people.

His girlfriend eventually persuaded him to go to the doctors when it turned out he actually had Hepatosplenic T-Cell Lymphoma (cancer of the blood). This form of cancer, it turns out is very rare, not much is known about it and it may or may not react to treatment. History has shown that Stem Cell transplants have been successful in some but not in others but the gent in question is busy raising money for Anthony Nolan, who operate a stem cell donor register in the hope that someday they might find a stem cell donor who is a match for him.

Stem cells are great; they are pluripotent and can develop into many different cell types.  As with any transplant, the donor’s stem cells and the recipient’s cells have to match for the transplant to be viable. Due to the flexible nature of stem cells more and more people are undergoing transplants in order to have a hope of treating their illness. This in turn means that more and more people are needed to register as a donor for stem cells. To register all that is required is your saliva and for you to be fit and healthy. Have a look online and see if you can help.

One thing that I got out of reading the blog of this gent is that burying your head in the sand is not the answer.

If we can help you, get in touch. rowena.mckenna@bjf.org.uk

 



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