By ERIN MAGUIRE
CRAIG SCOTT is used to trying to save goals every Saturday.
Last week he had blood syringed in and out of his body in a bid to save someone’s LIFE.
The Newmains defender jetted to London to donate vital stem cells through Anthony Nolan after the charity matched him with a stricken cancer patient.
Scott, 27, signed up to the register seven years ago then saw his friend’s stricken father survive as a result of the treatment – but this was the first time he’d been called on.
He said: “Quite simply my mate’s dad would have died unless he’d received stem cells from a donor. He’s made a full recovery and doesn’t have any health problems now.
“When you put it like that it shows how much a difference you can make to someone’s life by doing something like this.”
Brave Scott was given a series of injections at his home in East Kilbride to stimulate the body into producing more stems cells.
Then during the actual four-hour procedure at the London Clinic Cancer Centre blood was taken from one arm and fed through a machine which extracted the stem cells.
The blood was then returned into the body through Scott’s opposite arm. Scott stressed it was more straightforward than it sounds.
He said: “It actually wasn’t painful in the slightest. The worst part was the removing of the tape which secured the needles. I hadn’t been too nervous beforehand.
“I’d been told numerous times by people working for Anthony Nolan and the nurse who came round to my house to give me the injections what was involved so I knew what to expect.
“The only thing I was apprehensive about was that my body was able to produce enough stem cells to help the patient who was in need of them.
“I felt some pressure even though I knew there was nothing I could do. Anthony Nolan were really supportive too. They booked all the travel down to London and paid for the hotel. All I had to do was turn up.”
In the UK one person is diagnosed with a type of blood cancer every 14 minutes and Anthony Nolan matches an average of three donors to patients every day. Over 68,000 people signed up to become donors in the past 12 months.
Scott has now urged others join the register in an effort to expand the selection of donors on offer – and the chances of landing more matches in the future.
A potential donor must be aged between 16 and 30, in good health and over 50kg in weight. The charity is particularly keen to recruit more young males, as well as black and ethnic minority groups.
Scott added: “I would definitely advise doing it because you’re giving someone the chance to beat cancer. If it’s something you want to do, just go on the website. It has lots of information to explain the process.”
Anthony Nolan was established in 1974 by Shirley Nolan, whose son Anthony needed a life-saving bone marrow transplant. She set up the first ever register for potential donors – a register which is now contains 720,000 candidates.
For full eligibility criteria and other details on the charity go to www.anthonynolan.org