In 2008, Chloe from Scotland, who was then aged eight, was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia. Following five rounds of chemotherapy treatment, her parents, Pauline and Craig, were told that she would need a blood stem cell donation. An international blood stem cell registry search was undertaken and a matching donor was found. Chloe received the blood stem cell donation in February 2009.
Then, five months afterwards, the doctors said that Chloe was in remission, Pauline said to Craig: “It feels like we have been given our daughter back.”
At the time of the donation, neither Chloe nor her parents, Pauline and Craig, knew who her lifesaving blood stem cell donor was. All they knew was that he was a man. They yearned to know. While Roland, the German man is his forties who was her tissue-type match and who had donated his blood stem cells to her, saving her life, also wondered who it was he had saved.
Not able to know of each others name and addresses for two years, Roland and Chloe and her family were only able to send each other anonymous notes through DMKS (Deutsche Knochenmarkspenderdatei gGmbH – German Bone Marrow Donor Centre), Delete Blood Cancer UK’s sister charity, for two years after her treatment.
Then, after two years of anonymous contact, Chloe’s family were told that they could now get in touch with their donor. They were told his name and where he was from and that he would be happy to get to know the person who he had made the donation to. Chloe’s dad Craig then made contact with Roland through Facebook and there was thereafter regular contact between Roland and the Jarvis family.
Then, finally in February 2013, they all met at the launch of Delete Blood Cancer UK and Chloe was able to thank her donor for the first time in person. It was very emotional for Roland, Chloe and her family and there was an instant bond. As Craig said: “Even though we had only just met, it felt as if we’d known Roland for a lifetime”.
Of the meeting, Roland himself said: “When I met Chloe, I was overwhelmed by my feelings. I’d waited for that moment since the day of my donation. Now I feel like I have found a second family in the UK, and the Jarvis family have found one in Germany. We have a bond for life.”