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AWARD: George up for Donor Champion of the Year

Assistant kitman nominated for Anthony Nolan Trust Supporters Award

11 February 2021

Accrington Stanley’s assistant kitman George Quigley has been nominated for Donor Champion of the Year at the 2020 Anthony Nolan Supporters Awards.

George, 27, has been working at the Wham Stadium for around eight years and is also a replenisher at Tesco in Padiham.

George, who is from Burnley, decided to donate his stem cells to help people with blood cancer or a blood disorder when his cousin had blood cancer around three years ago.

“Most of the family signed up to donate our stem cells and then in July last year I got a call to do it,” said George, who had to have four injections over four days beforehand.

“I had to travel to a hospital and I was hooked up to a dialysis machine and they pumped blood from my left arm, through a machine which took out the stem cells, and it went into my right arm.

“It was four hours each day over two days but we were fed and watered!

“I was a bit battered and bruised and I was tired for a few days after but it was well worth it.”

Within a short time of donating his stem cells, George got a phone call to say they had found a match.

“It was good! It was well worth it and I do feel pleased that they found a match. All I know is it’s a male and I think we can get in touch in either six months or a year providing both parties want to.”

Donor Provision Co-ordinator at the Anthony Nolan Trust, Naomi Birchell, nominated George for the Donor Champion of the Year and he is up against two other people.

“It’s amazing,” said George. “Naomi said she nominated me as there were a lot of challenges I had to overcome but it didn’t put me off.

“Covid restrictions made it tough and then, the day I was meant to start, someone at Tesco got Covid so I had to self-administer my own injections and take around four Covid tests to make sure I was clear.

“Then on the day I was meant to go to hospital, the train broke down so my dad had to take me. It was extremely challenging but we got there.”

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