A PORT Glasgow man who stepped up as a bone marrow donor to save a stranger’s life is hoping to inspire hundreds more people to join him.

Dad-of-three Joe Gault was left stunned when he received a call out of the blue from the Anthony Nolan Trust after five years to tell him that he could be a match for someone in desperate need of a last chance transplant.

He has started a campaign hoping to get at least 30 more potential donors on the register but the total has already reached 140 and climbing.

Now he hopes that Tele readers will also give renewed hope to people suffering from leukaemia and other blood cancers.

Since donating his bone marrow Joe has been overwhelmed by the response from people across the country.

Call centre worker Joe, aged 32, who lives in Lilybank Road, said: “I joined the register about five years ago and I had forgotten all about it until I got a message from the Anthony Nolan Trust to say that I could be a match.

“The way it was explained to me was that a bone marrow transplant was the last chance for people with blood cancers. It takes place when everything has failed and there is nothing else they can do. 

“I know that my bone marrow went to a male, but that is all I know. After two years they can get in touch with me if they wish to.

“You can’t help but think about the person who needs the transplant to say alive.”

Joe’s dramatic intervention began on March 14 this year when he was contacted by the Anthony Nolan Trust to say he might be needed as a donor. He sent away bloods and seven weeks later it was confirmed that he was a perfect match.

Joe then found himself on a flight to London with his wife Jan for the stem cell transplant.

He added: “It used to be an operation but now they use the stem cell procedure.”

Joe chose to record his journey on a blog and was flooded by comments from wellwishers.

Joe said: “I wanted to tell people what it is like because when they contacted me I had no idea what it would actually involve.

“I was hooked up to a machine. 

“Four days before the donation, I received two injections a day to make my body promote the growth of the cells that Anthony Nolan needed.

“I felt pretty sluggish and sore with back pain, but in the grand scheme of things it was nothing compared to what the other person would be going through.

“On day four I was off to London. The next day I was hooked up to a machine where the blood was taken out of one arm and the bone marrow was separated from my blood.

“You are hooked onto the machine for around five hours.

“During the process the sore back and sickly feelings that I had from the day before were gone, because the cells were being taken from my body — it was pretty weird.

“Afterwards I felt pretty tired but really good that I’d done something good for someone.”

Joe’s blog has attracted huge attention and hundreds of people left comments.

He said: “It was not until I read the comments that I truly realised the impact that this has on people. 

“All I did was sign a register and take part in a procedure for five hours. I wanted to use the experience to encourage more people to sign up. My target is 30 people.”
Joe’s wife Jan and three children Molly, nine, Matthew, seven, and Louisa, four, are all fully behind him. Jan, 32, who works for the Royal Bank of Scotland Mortgage Centre in Greenock, said: “I am so proud of Joe.

“It was such an amazing thing to do, to help someone else. It was tough going with the injection but it is worth it.”

If you are 30 and under you can sign up at https://www.anthonynolan.org/ and if you are over 30 you can register at https://www.dkms.org.uk/en