A CLACKS man who wanted to do something to help people with cancer after losing his dad has donated his stem cells.

John Loudon from Tillicoultry travelled to London last week after waiting two years to be matched with someone who required the cells through Anthony Nolan, a blood cancer charity.

The 31-year-old was inspired to carry out the selfless act after his father passed away from prostate cancer a number of years ago.

Although stem cell donation wouldn’t have helped John’s dad, he wanted to do something that could help someone else and this was the closest he could get.

He told the Advertiser: “A few years ago my dad died of cancer and sometime after that I saw that you can donate your stem cells.

"It is just a case of joining the register, sending a DNA kit back to them then waiting to be matched with someone.”

John waited two years for a match and then travelled down south for the procedure on October 1, and the stem cells will then be inserted into the recipient within three days.

John continued: “The week before it you get a number of injections. A nurse came out to my work to give me them.

"The injections stimulate the bone marrow which increases the number of stem cells in the blood.”

The dad-of-one also had praise for his employers at Highland Spring who supported him every step of the way, even giving him time off when he had to get the injections prior to travelling to London.

After travelling to the clinic, John was hooked up with a needle in one arm which took his blood which then went into a special machine which filtered out the cells, before the blood was put into his other.

Overall, the procedure lasted around four hours before John and his girlfriend Rachel, who travelled with him, were released and they travelled back to the Wee County.

Since signing up to donate, John said lots of family and friends have joined the register and he is hoping that more do as a result, adding that even his five-year-old daughter was impressed – even if she didn’t quite understand what he was doing.

“It is more popular because there is a lot more information out there now," John added.

"People thought it was a lot more invasive than what it is

"You can stay on the register up until you are 60 so if another opportunity comes up, I will do it.”

He continued: “Rachel has signed up and so have a lot of friends and family. It helps to see someone get it done to see that it isn’t that bad.”

The charity was set up in 1974 by Shirley Nolan after her son Anthony died while in urgent need of a bone marrow transplant.

She then created the world’s first register which now helps three people find a lifesaving match each day.

For more information, go to anthonynolan.org