Our lifesaving work has come a long way in the past 40 years. Our knowledge of stem cells has expanded, and the bone marrow transplant process has improved. A lot has changed.
That’s something to be proud of. But sadly, it also means we often end up having to explain ourselves – because people have heard some ‘facts’ about our work which are decades out of date. Or, sometimes, just plain wrong.
It’s a massive obstacle to everything we do, and sometimes it even stops people from signing up to the Anthony Nolan register.
That’s why we’ve decided to devote March to a month of mythbusting – because we need to make sure people are hearing the facts about bone marrow transplants and how they can save the lives of people with blood cancer or blood disorders.
Check out our entries and help us spread the word on Facebook and Twitter.
MYTH 1. Donating your bone marrow is really painful.
TRUTH: For 90% of people, donating is like giving blood. 90% of people now donate their stem cells, not their bone marrow . It’s a simple, painless process – very similar to giving blood. Some people who donate report mild flu-like symptoms, but these usually vanish within a day or two.
One of our stem cell donors, Sean, said,
‘It was painless and that’s coming from someone with a fear of needles! I remember being amazed at how simple it was.’
If you’re one of the 10% who give your bone marrow, you’ll be under general anaesthetic so there won’t be any pain during the procedure. Afterwards, you’ll probably feel a bit tired and bruised, and you might have to take a few days off work