Ioan, 27, who is originally from Cwmtwrch in the Swansea Valleys, said: “Joining is really easy to do, and I’m so glad that I did. I’ve changed someone’s life because of it. Just find a blood donation clinic near you and let them know you want to join the bone marrow register. I’ve been on it since I could first join at 17 years old, years later I was finally matched with this little boy.
“There’s a misconception that giving bone marrow is really painful and that there are huge needles involved but it was pretty straight forward. After the operation, I actually woke up and asked if they’d done it yet because I couldn’t feel any pain.
“Everyone has been really supportive throughout the process, my partner, my work, and my teammates. I play for Clwb Rygbi Cymry Caerdydd, a Welsh language rugby club in Cardiff, and I help to manage Ospreys Women’s rugby. After the donation I took a little time off from playing but still went to the matches to support the teams!
“I still think about the young boy, his family and everything they must’ve gone through. I would really like to meet them one day.”
PE teacher Craig Simms, 26 was inspired to sign up to the register after his fellow teammate at Tonyrefail RFC received a lifesaving bone marrow donation and after a full recovery is still playing rugby with him today.
“A lot of my friends and family work in the NHS so they were particularly proud of me as they see people in need every day. I saw how quickly my teammate recovered after receiving a bone marrow transplant and it inspired me to donate.
“I feel extremely lucky to have been selected and given the opportunity to become a chilled-out lifesaver.”