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Sara

Unstoppable Testimonies

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Sara

Donor testimonial

My name is Sara and I am 22 years old.

I recently donated bone marrow and I would like to talk about my experience because I think there is a lot of misinformation (I am not going to talk about scientific or medical aspects because I am not involved and the Josep Carreras Foundation can explain it much better).

I became a donor at the beginning of 2017. Everything remained the same until December when they called me to tell me that there was a possible match and I was tested. In March I was told I was an official match and was scheduled to donate in April, but with the whole coronavirus thing it was delayed a bit longer.

People are often quite shocked because they associate donating bone marrow with a complicated intervention, but the most common method is by means of peripheral blood with a technique called apheresis, which is like dialysis, but with blood (which is what I had done).

I went for a medical check-up and had another blood test, an ECG and a chest x-ray. It was also explained to me that as of Saturday (5 days before) I had to inject myself with a drug so that my stem cells would be released into the bloodstream.

The injections went well and, apart from the weird feeling of pricking yourself, I felt like the inside of my bones were aching, but it was uncomfortable rather than painful.

On the day of the donation I went to the Blood and Tissue Bank at the Sant Pau Hospital and they run another blood test to see if the stem cells had gone into my bloodstream and they also ran a coronavirus test.

Then I was connected to the machine. The process took almost 3 hours, although people usually stay longer (but it depends on your veins, your sensations during the donation, the weight of the recipient…) and, apart from getting tired because I couldn’t move much, I didn’t feel any other discomfort.

I feel normal and fine, so I want to encourage everyone who can to become a bone marrow donor!

I don’t consider myself to be brave because it didn’t involve any effort on any personal level, for me it was like donating blood (being aware that it’s not the same thing). Brave are the people who fight for their lives against these diseases.  

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