19 September 2014

Shoreham Port were pleased to support one of their Coxswains, Mark Hayes through a potentially lifesaving procedure, donating bone marrow to a patient in need of a bone marrow transplant. Mark described that “many people fear that donating bone marrow is painful and dangerous and this is completely wrong. My procedure was well organised and although I was put under general anaesthetic, I was unconscious for under an hour and was able to walk within three hours after the operation.”

Mark continued “I have been on the bone marrow register for around 20 years. I never expected to be called up but I am so glad that I was found to be a match for someone and that the Port were so supportive. I would encourage everyone to look into bone marrow donation. It is such a small price to pay to potentially save a life.”

Shoreham Port ensured that Mark was given enough time off to fully recover from the procedure before returning to work. The Port has a very open and supportive working culture, encouraging employees to take part in any charity fundraising event or unique procedures such as Mark’s. As a Trust Port being at the heart of the community, having a positive impact on stakeholders in the surrounding area is very important to Shoreham Port.

Rodney Lunn, Chief Executive at Shoreham Port commented “We were very happy to support Mark where we could throughout his bone marrow donation. We hope that Mark’s selfless contribution to the cure of blood cancer will raise awareness about the importance and urgency of bone marrow donation.”

This September is Blood Cancer Awareness Month. Every 20 minutes, someone in the UK is told they have a blood cancer. Many more live with debilitating and sometimes life-threatening blood disorders, including sickle cell disease and thalassemia.

To join the bone marrow register you will need to be aged between 16 and 30 years old, be in good health, weigh over 7st 12lbs (50kg) and have a body mass index (BMI) lower than 40. To find out more about donating bone marrow or how to join the bone marrow register, please visit www.anthonynolan.org.