Northampton student who donated life-saving stem cells helps national charity reach grand milestone

Myles Holder was the 100th person from the Hero Project to donate life-saving stem cells.
Myles Holder was the 100th person from the Hero Project to donate life-saving stem cells.

A Northampton student has become the 100th donor for a national charity to give a patient a second chance of life.

Myles Holder, 21, has become the 100th donor from the Anthony Nolan Hero Project to donate his stem cells for a patient in desperate need of a transplant.

Myles signed up for the programme in sixth form college in 2014 as part of an education programme about the importance of stem cell, blood and organ donation.

But this year, he received the phone call from Anthony Nolan to say he was a match.

Myles said: "I joined the stem cell register because I wanted to make a difference to someone's life.

"I didn’t hear anything for four years until a few weeks ago when somebody at the charity called me. It’s kind of like winning a moral lottery. It feels really good. As soon as I got the phone call, I wanted to do it straight away.”

After tests to confirm he was the best genetic match for a patent in need of a stem cell transplant, Myles received four days of injections which stimulates stem cell production.

“I’m not the biggest fan of injections,” Myles said. "But honestly, it’s been fine, the whole experience.

“I donated stem cells for five hours and it really wasn’t a painful process. Anthony Nolan arranged and paid for everything, so the whole process has been really convenient. I would recommend it, especially if you do have the ability to affect someone’s life in a positive way.”

It also made Myles the 100th young person from the Hero Project to donate his stem cells.

Anthony Nolan was the world’s first bone marrow register. The blood cancer charity has been saving lives over four decades by matching people willing to donate their stem cells to patients in desperate need of a transplant.