Honiton businessman gives gift of life to stranger

Nick donates bone marrow to leukaemia victim.

A HONITON businessman has given the gift of life to a stranger after donating his bone marrow and hopes to encourage others to register as donors.

Nick Richards, who is the director and part owner of Duralife Windows Ltd, signed up to the Anthony Nolan donor register more than 30 years ago after an awareness drive by Honiton Round Table.

However, it was not until last year that Mr Richards was told he was a match for a patient.

He said: “It is a wonderful thing to be able to do. What better thing to do than help to save someone’s life. There is no guarantee that it will save their life, but you are giving them a chance, which is so important.”

Mr Richards travelled to the University Hospital of London this month where he underwent a five hour procedure called peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC), where the stem cells are extracted.

There are two ways of collecting bone marrow including PBSC and bone marrow harvest.

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The 51-year-old added: “If it was your family and you were not in a position to donate, you would want someone to make that sacrifice and to do it for you.

“That is what swayed my decision.

“It is a lovely thing to be able to do.

“Everyone ought to do it.

“I would definitely do it again, without a shadow of a doubt.”

He added: “It is extremely important for people to register. I can’t emphasise it enough.

“It is not necessarily bone marrow, there are lots of other charities which are equally important.

“A week’s discomfort is a small price to pay.”

Anthony Nolan is a charity set up to find matches for leukaemia patients in need of a life-saving transplant.

For more information or to register as a bone marrow donor, call the Anthony Nolan charity on 03033030303 or visit www.anthonynolan.org