StemCells John Underwood Twitter

John Underwood knew he might someday need a bone-marrow transplant.

Diagnosed with a rare form of lymphoma, Underwood said that his best shot at an eventual recovery will “probably” rest with  an organization whose mission is to recruit people willing to donate some of their stem cells.

So, as he sat down for his first chemotherapy treatment last month, he decided to do a little fundraising for the UK charity, Anthony Nolan. While still connected to the IV drip, Underwood constructed a JustGiving page, setting a modest goal of £1,000 and tweeting the link to his 1,934 followers.

Stem cells are the most omnipotent of human cells and literally the lifeblood for such patients. But, as amazing as stem cells are, they are like other human tissue when it comes to transplantation: there needs to be a good match between donor and patient. The bigger the donor pool, the better your chances of finding a match.Michael J Fox released courtsey Roxee Jones

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Within an hour he had reached his goal and by the day’s end he was declaring himself “pretty solidly chuffed” that donations had swelled past £16,400 with donations from over 650 people.

“And every person who has chipped in… is properly saving lives. 166 new funded donors, right there,” Underwood tweeted, citing an estimate from Anthony Nolan that it spends about £100 for each stem-cell donor it recruits.

Underwood’s JustGiving total has now passed £48,000 because of the generosity of more than two thousand strangers and friends.

Photo: John Underwood on Twitter

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