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Jonay

Unstoppable Testimonies

Our Unstoppables are our reason for being!

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

Jonay

Donor testimonial

Take good care of yourself, for your sake and, hopefully, for someone else’s sake.

This is the request I would pose to you from now on, because, if one day you would like to become a bone marrow donor, as I did, you will have the only thing necessary to help save the life of another person, something that only you will be able to do.

I became a bone marrow donor because I was deeply saddened a few years ago when I heard the news that a classmate of one of my children was leaving school because he had “a battle to fight”. The only way to balance that feeling was, at best, to sign up as a bone marrow donor through the Josep Carreras Foundation.

I was called once, I was overjoyed…, but it soon faded away. There were several potential donors, among which I was not the most suitable. “We might not call you after today, this may be the last you hear of this process. Don’t be disheartened, the odds are always very low and you have done more than enough. Best of luck and thank you for volunteering”.

Sure enough, they didn’t call me again… … for that process.

In the spring of 2021 they contacted me again. The same test, the same standard process message, a simultaneous thanks and goodbye, but this time it was different: “Can you come again? We need to run some additional tests to verify suitability”. And several days later, the call came directly from the Foundation.

I had won the unlikely lottery of having the chance to help save the life of someone I will never meet, but whose existence is as real as my own, whose genetics are very similar, and whose luck (as of that day) is infinitely better, just because someone as insignificant as me made an altruistic and selfless decision years before, without being aware of how life-changing it would be.

This is what the Josep Carreras Foundation does: it sends these proposals of life, these seeds of opportunity, these messages of hope all over the world, and they listen: waiting for someone with a terrible need to raise their voice and pick them up, to have at least a chance of overcoming their disease.

I experienced a great many feelings as I lovingly prepared my body in the month leading up to the donation (producing sufficient spare cells to donate), the journeys to the hospital where I donated, that phrase from the nursing team “your superhero costume will be waiting for you in heaven”, the longed-for bone aches signalling they were working at full capacity to donate, the tears of the medical team (and my own!) as I watched my blood slowly move towards the machine that would work the small technical miracle of removing my excess cells and carefully storing them so they could travel to an unknown location, lying comfortably for the most meaningful four hours of that entire year.

The most overwhelming feeling was that of how unpredictably important you can become: not because of you, not for you, but for someone else to whom life has dealt a severe blow. That you won’t get a “thank you” from that person, but you know for sure that this anonymous person has shouted them at the top of their voice, that they will probably circled with a thousand colours the day of my donation on their calendar, that they might celebrate that day (I hope from the depths of my soul) as a new birthday. It’s hard to express: I just signed some papers, got on a list, eventually forgetting about it (twice), got a call: “Hey, you can save a life. You don’t know who this person is, but they are just like you and they need you very much”.

It is not every year that I have had the opportunity to help save a life. So 2021 was, for that reason alone, simply perfect.

If you have the chance, become a bone marrow donor, and as I said: Take good care of yourself, for your sake and, hopefully, for someone else’s sake.

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