Sur­vivor in dream come true visit to meet life­saver

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - STU­ART GREER

ACANCER sur­vivor has trav­elled hun­dreds of miles to meet the stranger who saved her life.

Mar­garet Watts, 65, from Mac­cles­field, was di­ag­nosed with hy­poplas­tic myelodys­plas­tic syn­drome (MDS), a can­cer which at­tacks blood cells in the bone mar­row, in 2010.

At the same time more than 700 miles away in Ger­many Klaus Bo­den­mueller, 46, joined a bone mar­row register, a de­ci­sion which would save Mar­garet’s life.

Last month, four years on af­ter a suc­cess­ful stem cell trans­plant the grand­mother-of-three was fi­nally able to say thank you to him in an emo­tional meet­ing.

Re­tired ad­min­is­tra­tor Mar­garet, who lives with her hus­band Allen on Ker­shaw Grove, said: “To come face to face with the per­son who saved your life was ab­so­lutely over­whelm­ing and there were many tears. There will be a spe­cial bond be­tween us for life.”

Mar­garet’s life was turned up­side down when she was di­ag­nosed with MDS and she was warned her chances of sur­vival were low with­out a bone mar­row trans­plant.

Doc­tors put her on the Bri­tish Bone Mar­row Reg- istry, part of an in­ter­na­tional net­work hop­ing to find a life-sav­ing match.

She said: “I re­mem­ber be­ing strangely calm when they told me be­cause we could fi­nally give a name to the thing that had been mak­ing me ill and see what could be done to save me. Then it was a case of hop­ing for the best.”

The net­work matched Klaus and Mar­garet and stem cells were trans­planted from him to her.

Klaus said he felt ‘won­der­ful’ know­ing he had helped Mar­garet adding: “The thought that I saved a woman’s life gives me goose bumps.”

As part of the process donors and re­cip­i­ents are al­lowed to make con­tact if both agree two years af­ter the op­er­a­tion.

Mar­garet is shar­ing her story in a bid to en­cour­age more po­ten­tial donors.

She said: “I am not some­one who likes be­ing in the lime­light but I des­per­ately want more peo­ple to do a very sim­ple thing and join the reg­is­ters so that other lives can be saved. It is as sim­ple as giv­ing a sam­ple of saliva or blood.”

To be a donor you must be aged 16 to 55, in good gen­eral health, weigh over 50kg and have a BMI lower than 40.

There are three reg­is­ters you can join: the An­thony Nolan Trust, the Bri­tish Bone Mar­row Reg­istry or Delete Blood Can­cer, depend­ing on your age.

Matt Rat­cliffe

●● Mar­garet Watts was able to have a stem cell trans­plant to fight her blood can­cer

●● The scene of the five car smash on Great King Street in Mac­cles­field

●● Mar­garet with donor Klaus in Ger­many

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