A crew of life-givers

A crew of life-givers

When David’s mum was told she had six months to find a match for her bone marrow transplant, his friends and family stepped up for the cause.

David’s donation journey started in 2013. His mum, Julie, had just started receiving platelet and red blood cell transfusions while receiving chemotherapy for leukaemia. Watching her rely on the generosity of blood donors, he was inspired to donate too. 

A year later, Julie’s haematologist said that her last viable option for long term remission was a bone marrow transplant. When they heard the words "you have six months to find a match”, Julie bravely forced a smile. But David looked for a way to help. When he found out that signing up to registry was a simple process he could do whilst donating blood, he was overjoyed at the chance to do his part. 

What followed was a son determined to help his mum — and rallying a crew to do it with him. David gathered his friends and family, created a Lifeblood Team called ‘David Nash Friends and Family’ and they all donated blood later that week, the first step to signing up as bone marrow donors. 

Over the next few months, Julie’s condition miraculously improved and the idea of a bone marrow transplant was put on the backburner.  But it was only for a few years. Now, she was told that a transplant was a necessity. David and his sister Emily stepped up once again and managed to sign up almost 50 of their friends to donate at the Melbourne CBD Donor Centre.

"It was incredible to look around the room and see all our friends in almost all the seats available."

They even surprised Julie with the list of 50 people who donated blood in support of her battle with leukaemia. She was practically speechless and happy tears were shared amongst the whole family!

man and woman seated at a restaurant table smiling at camera

David knew that the chances of finding a match among their group might be slim, but that didn’t stop him. He worked hard to motivate as many people as possible to donate blood. He wanted to spread awareness of how important blood products are for helping cancer patients. 

On top of blood donation, he wanted to get more people on the Australian Bone Marrow Donor Registry in the hope that there might be a match for someone like his mum. Only one in every thousand on the registry are ever contacted. As it turned out, one of their Team members was the one in a thousand! They were a match for a patient and went through with the donation.

"I honestly couldn't describe the feeling knowing that all of us had contributed to finding a match for this person who was a complete stranger."

 David’s heart was full, knowing how far the Team’s blood donations go to support the community. Fortunately for Julie, she was able to get on a clinical trial which worked miracles, but a bone marrow transplant is still the best option for achieving complete remission. 

man in the chair donating blood

David's made a strong start towards an incredible community, encouraging even more people to donate blood and sign up. 

Find out how you can start or join a Lifeblood Team here and if you’re interested in joining Australia’s register of volunteer blood stem cell donors via blood donation, head to strengthtogive.org.au