KINDHEARTED Rory Thorne knew exactly what he needed to do the moment he heard about stem cell donation.
The teenager from Stubbington immediately signed up for a test to see if he could help save someone’s life.
The 19-year-old first heard about the need for donors from his dad Neil, who he is pictured with, who had listened to a presentation during a service at Holy Rood Church.
Neil had wanted to sign up himself but when he found out he was too old, he encouraged Rory to find out more.
Rory said: ‘When he told me about it, I thought it was such a good idea.
‘It was such a small effort on my part compared to the good it does for someone with blood cancer.’
Rory, of Mays Lane, signed up through Anthony Nolan – a charity that uses its register to match potential bone marrow donors to blood cancer patients in need of a bone marrow transplant.
There are three main types of blood cancer – leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma – which are life-threatening partly because they stop a person’s immune system working properly.
A stem cell transplant can replace a damaged immune system in a person with blood cancer – but only if the donor’s tissue type matches.
Only people aged between 16 and 30, weighing more than 7st 12lb and in good health can join the register.
Rory provided a saliva sample to Anthony Nolan, and then he went in for a blood test.
Seven months later, while Rory and his family were on holiday in Majorca, he got a call to say that he was a match and that he was needed to donate.
The calm teenager took it in his stride and in November he spent a day at Kings College Hospital London undergoing the procedure, which involves connecting a line to one arm, pumping out blood, removing the stem cells and replacing the blood back into the arm.
He said the procedure did not hurt and that he was kept company by his mum Alison, who sat with him.
Rory said: ‘Some people can be on the register for years and some people are never called. With me it was a matter of months.’
Rory, who is studying A-levels at Bay House Sixth Form College in Gosport, does not know who his donation has helped, just that it has gone to an adult man.
He said: ‘You can ask to know how they are getting on after six months but you cannot find out who they are in case you are needed to donate again. After two years they can request your information.
‘Even though I don’t know him, it is a good feeling. It was a minimal effort for the return of saving someone’s life. I’d encourage everyone to go and get tested.’
For more information go to anthonynolan.org