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Dency

Unstoppable Testimonies

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Testimonies of the struggle and overcoming of the adults and children who are Unstoppable against leukaemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma..

Dency

Donor testimonial

Hello, my name is Dency, I am 22 years old and I have been a blood and plasma donor since I turned 18. Interestingly, the first time I went to donate blood was on a day organised by the high school where I studied and that same day I decided to register with REDMO, why not? I thought it could potentially help someone a lot and it won’t burden me in any way. It seemed like a no-brainer, in fact, I didn’t even think about it too much, it was a pretty immediate decision, just as simple as becoming a regular blood and plasma donor.

A few months ago I received a call from the BST at the Sant Pau Hospital telling me that I was potentially compatible with a bone marrow recipient and asking whether I was willing to donate. I guess I didn’t even hesitate, I probably wasn’t fully aware of what it meant until after I hung up and, honestly, I was happy to be able to help someone in this way, although at the same time, I had a bitter feeling because there was someone who desperately needed it. In any case, setting aside the things that are beyind my control, all it would require from me were a few pinpricks to give life to another person and for me that is something that is beyond dispute. Remaining consequent with the decision I made 4 years ago to register with REDMO, the time had come and I was very happy to help with whatever was required of me.

On the day of the donation, I arrived at the Sant Pau Hospital at around 8 a.m. There was already the film crew at the door, waiting for me to show up, I guess. We greeted each other and a couple of shots were taken of me entering the BST. I won’t deny it, the feeling was a bit strange and somewhat comical: I’ve never been one to take a lot of photos of myself.

Upon entering the building I said to Asunción, the first person I saw, that my name was Dency, that I was a REDMO donor and that, well, I was ready to begin with whatever was needed.

The first item of the day’s agenda was a minor blood test to verify that my body had worked with the medication and had generated sufficient stem cells. After that, a quick breakfast break and back to the BST, where, after a short wait while they prepared another donor, Asun herself took me to the room where I would spend the rest of the morning.

They prepared me and hooked me up to start the apheresis process. To be honest, the sensation I felt in my body was very similar to what I feel when I donate plasma, but what was a little different was the atmosphere. Throughout the morning, I watched a flow of people coming and going. These were people from the BST, the REDMO film crew, and Dr. Villa. When visiting a BST, you always feel very welcome and looked after by everyone, but that day I felt that I was being cared for and looked after even more than usual.

The hours passed and, after a short nap and some chatting, at around 11 o’clock I was told that everything was going smoothly and that we would be finished in a little while. At around 11:30 the extraction process concluded and the only thing left to do was to wait for the blood that was inside the machine’s circuit to finish its journey, so I wouldn’t be able to leave until 12 o’clock. At this point I remember Asun saying to me: “Look, Dency, this little bag that came out of you contains life” as he pointed to the bag with the stem cells. It really is shocking if you think about it, for the modest price of 5 injections (if you count the one that morning) and a visit to the doctor, there is someone who will be able to continue fighting for their life, which they would not have been able to do otherwise.

A few days before the donation I started to watch some of the videos that the Josep Carreras Foundation has available to explain the process and some of the people involved, so, before I finish, I would like to say that it is estimated that the probability of a person finding a compatible match is 1 in 3,000. Therefore, it is really important to increase the number of registered donors so that more people who need bone marrow can receive it as soon as possible.

Another interesting fact I would like to finish with is that I have always been an only child. Until now. Now, I virtually have a brother or sister somewhere in the world with whom I share stem cells – what a gift!

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