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Jose

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..

Jose

Donor testimonial

My name is Jose and I am 34 years old.

In the world we live in, I think we are all familiar (at least from afar) with this wretched disease. When an illness does not affect us personally nor does it affect those close to us, we often find it hard to empathise.

I work in the Air Force and although vaccinations are mandatory here, I never considered bone marrow donation and I think it was largely out of fear and ignorance.

Never until I heard of Pablo Ráez.

It was because of his work that I put aside my excuses and my laziness and decided to go to the reference centre in my community to register as a bone marrow donor.

The truth is that when I found out about the donation methods and possible side effects, I was very reassured. Nothing is as you think it is on the street and you realise that you can achieve a great deal with very little. So I took action and thus became part of this fantastic registry.

Once I signed up, time passed and, although I was aware that the chances of a match with a recipient were remote (1 in 4,000), it didn’t take away the feeling of being a better person.

I don’t think I’ll ever forget that morning at work. I know it’s a bold thing to say, but I sensed where the call was coming from. With my nerves on edge as I answered the call, I didn’t even write down the information that the nurse on the other end of the phone was telling me to confirm the compatibility.

The compatibility test consists of extracting three small tubes of blood that will be analysed to corroborate that you are the right person for the patient. And on that occasion it turned out that I was the ideal donor for that patient.

I was referred to the hospital where I had a chest x-ray, an electrocardiogram and more blood tests. The two donation methods were explained to me once again and it was confirmed that the one chosen for my donation would be apheresis.

To tell the truth, I never considered abandoning the process because, as one can imagine at this stage, that would surely mean the death of the patient.

I decided to have the preparatory vaccinations for the apheresis at home (I had never administered any before) and knowing that this might cause me shock and that I might faint, I told my wife that, if that happened, she should take the opportunity to give me the vaccination jab, there would be no better opportunity than that! In truth, that never happened, I hardly felt the vaccine needle, so if someone as squeamish as me can do it, I have no doubt that any of you could.

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