A selfless, seventeen year old is back home in Ruddington – after making a donation which could have saved someone’s life.
Chloe Robinson is a Sixth Form student at Rushcliffe School who’s studying for her A-Levels. Last year a team from the Anthony Nolan charity went into her school to encourage pupils to sign up to the Bone Marrow Register. Chloe and quite a few of her friends did so – but then thought nothing more about it.
However, In December, Chloe received a call from the transplant team in London to inform her that she was a potential match (1 in 4) for someone urgently needing a stem cell transplant. Anthony Nolan then requested she have some more blood tests to further check her compatibility. After an eight week wait, Chloe heard that she was an excellent match and consented to donating her stem cells.
“You hear of so many poorly children and adults that need stem cell/bone marrow transplants that could potentially save their lives. I had to help” explains Chloe. She was required to attend a full medical check-up at Sheffield’s Royal Hallamshire Hospital last month to ensure she was fit and healthy to donate, which Chloe passed. Then four days before the donation, she started a 4 day course of G-CSF injections which increases stem cell production.
Last Sunday night (March 17th) Chloe travelled up to Sheffield and says she wasn’t even scared about undergoing the PBSC (Peripheral Blood Stem Cell) donation procedure: “If anything, I was excited about donating them!”
On Monday morning the procedure was started, where a needle is put into each arm and blood is drawn out of one arm and fed into a cell-separating machine. Inside the machine the stem cells are filtered out and the red blood cells are then put back into the blood stream through a second needle. Chloe reveals: “It didn’t hurt at all – and the nurses at the hospital were brilliant. I was tired and achy after donation but felt fine after a good night’s sleep.”
Four million stem cells are needed for the transplant and Chloe managed to donate a staggering NINE million stem cells in five hours! She’s now hoping to get others to sign up for the bone marrow register, too: “It’s an amazing thing to do and risk free. You’re not damaging yourself and you’re potentially saving someone’s life. I really hope that the transplant works for the recipient and I will be sending them a good luck letter in the next few days – although this has to be sent anonymously.”
Chloe says she’d definitely do it again, although has now been removed from the register for two years: “This is in case the stem cell transplant fails or the recipient needs a top-up and I have to donate to them again. I really want to raise awareness and encourage everyone to sign up to become a donor through Anthony Nolan or DKMS.”
This sentiment is echoed by mum Rachael who says: “I’m so proud. Well done Chloe – you’re amazing! Fingers crossed all goes well for the recipient.”
In September, Chloe will be leaving Ruddington for three years to study Psychology at Canterbury Christ Church University in Kent. We wish her every success!