A BIG-HEARTED West Midlands Police officer gave the ultimate present this Christmas… the gift of life.
Caring PCSO Steve Hopley donated bone marrow stem cells to help save the life of a leukaemia sufferer he’s never even met − and will never meet.
It is the second time the 58-year-old officer has undergone the procedure − which can take over six hours − and sees millions of stem cells taken from his body and transplanted into a recipient to replace damaged blood cells.
The grandfather-of-two was inspired to become a donor having read about the plight of youngster Anthony Nolan − a three-year-old who was in desperate need of stem cell treatment to help save his life.
A register designed to match donors with recipients was created by his mum Shirley and now − more than 40 years on − the Anthony Nolan Register helps find matches for thousands of people every year who need stem cells or bone marrow.
Speaking ahead of his donation Steve said: “I have been on the register for more than 20 years and I feel privileged to be able to do this and help save a life.
“I found it heart-rending just reading about Anthony and wanted to be in a position to do something to help others in the future.
“I donated in 2010 after being a match and then I received a call out the blue a month ago asking if I would be willing to do so again.
“There is a little apprehension but my over-riding feeling is doing this will give someone a chance of living. I do not know anything about the person other than it is a man.
“Once I have undergone the procedure I will have a few days of recuperation as recommended; but then I aim to be back on the beat again by the end of the week.”
For further information about Anthony Nolan visit the www.anthonynolan.org website.