People in the UK say ‘thank you’ 59 times a day, yet when it comes to life-changing situations, half admit struggling to express gratitude to those who help the most, according to research by blood cancer charity, Anthony Nolan.
To mark Blood Cancer Awareness Month (September 2019), the power and the limitations of saying ‘thank you’ are explored in a series of images and a short film shot for the charity by portrait photographer, Rankin. His work captures the visible struggle as people who have received a life-saving stem cell transplant try to find the words to say ‘thank you’ to their donors, known or anonymous.
The Silent Thank You tells the stories of six recipients of life-saving bone marrow transplants, and also asks people to give, explaining that over 2,000 people a year in the UK need a stem cell transplant, and for every £40 raised, Anthony Nolan can recruit another potential donor to its stem cell register.
“We’ve all experienced moments when we’ve been lost for words – generally in times of extreme emotion. I feel privileged to have shared some of the recipients’ amazing journeys of hope and recovery, made possible by the selfless act of someone who has never met, nor may ever meet, them.”
Joanna Calder, 50, from Hampshire had Acute Myeloid Leukaemia and received a stem cell transplant facilitated by Anthony Nolan. She said:
“It’s hard to thank an anonymous stranger for the gift of your life because it sounds meaningless and not enough. Because there aren’t words to thank somebody that you’re potentially never going to meet. I am very lucky, and I’m very grateful for Anthony Nolan and my donor.”
Henny Braund, Chief Executive at Anthony Nolan added:
“For someone with blood cancer, a stem cell transplant could be their last chance of survival and, every day five people start their search for a matching stranger.
“We want to give every family the opportunity to say thank you. Nobody should hear there is no matching donor for them. But without support, lives can’t be saved.”
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