A few hours of your time could help save a life

Jack Sherlock holding the donation of stem cells EMN-170405-170641001
Jack Sherlock holding the donation of stem cells EMN-170405-170641001

The selfless act of a Market Rasen man could potentially save the life of a person he has never met.

A registered blood donor, Jack Sherlock has gone one step further and has now become a stem cell donor.

The 21-year-old spent more than four hours undergoing the procedure and says he would ‘do it again in a heartbeat’.

“It feels really good knowing I have helped someone out when they really need it,” he said.

“I don’t know anything about the recipient, but I have been given the opportunity to send them a card through the Anthony Nolan Trust.

“In the future, it may be possible to meet and I would be happy to do that - it would be nice to see them face to face.”

It was seeing his uncle go through two rounds of chemotherapy that spurred Jack on to help others.

Jack said: “It certainly pushed me to do it more.

“Unfortunately, my uncle didn’t survive, but I want to make him proud by giving something back to somebody else.”

Now Jack is keen to show how simple the procedure is and encourage more people to become donors.

Jack was put on the bone marrow register after agreeing to have an extra sample taken at his regular blood donor session.

There is a one in 850 chance to be a match with someone and the match could be in any of 72 countries linked to the register.

Jack’s donation was done through the Anthony Nolan Trust and he has nothing but praise for the care he has received since he was told he was a match 14 months ago.

“All the way through, they have checked to make sure I was still happy to go ahead,” said Jack.

“I had to have a couple of injections a day leading up to the procedure and they arranged for those to be done at my work.

“The procedure was done in a hospital in the south of England and they paid for the travel and accommodation.

“And they are still checking on me now - it has been a fantastic experience.

“If the initial stem cell treatment for the recipient is successful, I may be needed for a top up in a couple of years, which I will be pleased to do.

“I can’t give blood for six months, but then I can get back to my normal donations.

“My work has also been tremendous with support as well.

“My boss at Knowhow donated stem cells when he was younger so he understood what was needed.

“But actually, it all fitted in with my general work pattern, so I only ended up having to have one day off.”

Jack’s mum Sue, also a blood donor, is rightly proud of her ‘selfless’ son.

“It has been a very positive and rewarding experience,” she said.

“It is selfless what he’s done and it will hopefully encourage other people.

“He is very kind and caring, so I am not surprised he has done this.

“I can’t tell you how proud I am.”

Jack added: “The donor register particularly needs young men aged 18 to 30, so I would urge people to do it.

“People think it hurts, but it really doesn’t.

“The injections made me feel a bit achy, but that was only for a couple of days and didn’t stop me working.

“Then after the procedure I felt a bit tired, but that is all.”