Donor’s good deed to be broadcast on TV
A Shetlander who donated his bone marrow to help a women with Leukaemia is to appear on a BBC documentary tonight.
Neil Munro, 47, from Dunrossness signed up for the bone marrow register in 2000 after a work colleague was fund-raising for the Anthony Nolan charity. Ten years later he was contacted to say a match had been found.
It was mother of three Lisa Whaymand, from Reading, who turned to a transplant after being given chemotherapy. And now Neil and Lisa have come face to face to as part of the television show.
The emotional meeting came after Lisa responded to a Facebook appeal asking for people who had received bone marrow transplants through the Anthony Nolan register. The charity was working with the BBC for a programme called The Gift and Lisa got in touch to find the man who saved her life.
She and Neil met for the first time in January last year and Lisa travelled North to Aberdeenshire, where Neil now lives, to see him.
Neil said he was delighted that Lisa wanted to meet up and when coming face to face, she bear-hugged him to say thank you.
With Neil having children too, there was an extra connection, and the families have met regularly since filming the show.
Their children keep in touch, through various apps and Neil’s family have enjoyed a trip to Legoland with Lisa and her kids.
“You’re always curious about who’s the person who will have got this [the bone marrow],” said Neil.
“You hope they are going to do something good with it or it means something to them, and obviously with Lisa having a young family at the time… you almost can’t imagine what it meant to her.”
Neil said he felt a bit off colour for a day or too after donating his bone marrow, though “when you compare that to what the other person must have gone through, or going through chemo,” it was a small price to pay.
“I would do it all again without hesitation,” he said.
The Gift is broadcast tonight at 9pm on BBC One.
• More in Friday’s Shetland Times.