Hi there. I’m Neil. I’m 20 years old, and I love football, squash, and Everton FC. Until not very long ago, I was a student at Glasgow University.
In February 2014, aged 18, I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia – a type of blood cancer. As you can imagine, this came as a bit of a shock. I was taken into hospital, where I stayed for a couple of months, and was given large doses of chemotherapy. I didn’t feel too great, and all my hair fell out, but I tried to keep positive, and had a few laughs along the way.
I made a full recovery, returned to the University of Glasgow to continue my studies in physiology, and things were looking great. I got back to playing squash, took up golf, and continued to watch Everton through gritted teeth!
Unfortunately, in April 2016, I discovered I had relapsed and the cancer had returned. My treatment will be very similar to last time, but with the addition of a bone marrow transplant. I’ll be updating this blog regularly to let everyone know how I’m getting on.
In order for the bone marrow transplant to go ahead, I need to find a donor. I’d be really grateful if you would consider signing up to join the Anthony Nolan register – it’s a database of potential donors who have agreed to donate their bone marrow if needed.
To register, all you need to do is fill in a form, spit in a pot, and send it to them. That’s it.
I always thought that being a donor meant I’d be dragged off to hospital and come out without a lung or kidney. Bone marrow donation is nothing like that. It simply involves an injection to increase the production of your bone marrow cells, and then you’re then hooked up to a machine, where those excess bone marrow cells are collected from your blood and given to someone who needs them – like me!
If any of that isn’t clear enough, below is a video of Steve Coogan explaining it all wonderfully.
Thanks so much for your time, and please do consider signing up to donate and potentially save a life!