THE kindness of strangers is a phenomena that never ceases to amaze. In a cynical world there would be no room for it, what’s the point, what’s the return, what’s in it for me? As the story of Ken Macarthur shows the return can be the absolute joy of giving that precious gift that can restore health for someone you have never met, don't know and have no responsibility for. Diagnosed with blood cancer in 2008 Ken became very seriously ill when transplants of his own cells failed to stop the myeloma. He found a good match donor in a total stranger through Anthony Nolan a register of people started more than forty years ago by mother Shirley Nolan who was trying to find a crucial donor for her desperately ill three year old son.

Now they have over 600,000 people on the list, one selflessly went through the procedure to help Ken who had his transplant seven years ago, and was eventually allowed to make contact with his donor so he could meet up and thank him face to face, just a few months ago.

Every 20 minutes someone is diagnosed with blood cancer, 30 per cent can find a matching donor within their families, 70 per cent cannot. The Anthony Nolan register now matches three strangers a day, working alongside the British Bone Marrow Registry, with donors who can potentially save their lives. Ken’s donor Adam said he thought everyone would do what he had done, this is not true, but it’s an example of the kindness and approach which gladdens the heart, and which does happen on a daily basis across the globe. Anthony Nolan is particularly looking for healthy people aged from 16 to 30, to register, especially men who produce more stem cells than women but make up just 15 per cent of the list. Go to