Lawyer Stuart Brooks donated his bone marrow two years ago, giving a perfect stranger a second chance at life. Unlike blood donation, sexuality is no barrier to being a bone marrow or stem cell donor – a message that Stuart wants to share.
‘Given I had been barred from blood donation on the grounds of my sexuality, it was so refreshing to learn that I could contribute towards saving a life by becoming a bone marrow donor,’ said Stuart.
‘When word spread among my friends that I had donated bone marrow I was stunned to find that lots of gay men assumed they couldn’t donate due to their sexuality.
‘Not only is this wrong, but since young men make the best donors, it felt like a terrible waste. What if they were the one person that could cure someone of blood cancer, but they never joined the register?’
For Stuart, donating his bone marrow was not only hugely rewarding, it was also much more straightforward than he anticipated.
‘I was really surprised by how many people were convinced it was painful,’ said Stuart. ‘I would do it all again. It was just a day of discomfort really.
‘Anthony Nolan explained everything to me beforehand and it was completely worry-free. I just thought if I was run over by a bus tomorrow I would leave something great behind.’
If you think you have what it takes to be a stem cell donor, or want to find out more about how you could change a life, visit anthonynolan.org
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