Headshaking Craze Helps Woman Find A Stem Cell Donor For Her Fiancé

The #Shake4Mike campaign saw a huge rise in the number of people joining a bone marrow donor register.

1. In March of this year, 29-year-old Mike Brandon from Bristol was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia.

Anthony Nolan

He discovered the news while his fiancée Kate Robertson was backpacking around Burma.

2. The 31-year-old immediately rushed back to the UK to hear doctors announce Mike would need a bone marrow transplant by the end of June, giving the couple around 60 days to find a donor.

Anthony Nolan

3. So Robertson proceeded to launch a social media campaign to encourage more people to join the Anthony Nolan bone marrow register.

4. The #Shake4Mike campaign asked people to post “shaky-face selfies” on their social media profiles.

5. People were also encouraged to nominate others to take part, in the same way the #NoMakeupSelfie craze went viral earlier this year.

#shake4mike a hard hitting story- please do whatever you can to raise awareness fbk: search shake4mike

— Becky Holmes (@Bechol)

Happy Tuesday Shaky facing! Register, shake, share, nominate #shake4mike @AnthonyNolan http://t.co/PieqQXmZRZ

— Shake4mike (@Shake4mike)

My friend Mike has leukemia, I can help and register as a stem cell donor at http://t.co/i9Hj08tV14 #Shake4mike

— Laurent Manès (@Laurentmurphy)

9. Robertson’s campaign had an immediate impact, with Anthony Nolan reporting a 650% increase in the number of people applying to join the register online just a week after #Shake4Mike started.

Shaking while the players warm up - think we're working harder #Shake4mike

— Shake4mike (@Shake4mike)

10. Between 4 and 12 May, more than 7,000 people signed up, compared to 939 for the same period last year.

Anthony Nolan

11. And Brandon and Robertson have now received some good news; a matching donor for Mike has now been found.

Anthony Nolan

“It’s been an incredibly difficult time so the relief we’re feeling is overwhelming; a matching donor means that we can go ahead with Mike’s bone marrow transplant,” Robertson said.

12. “We know we have a rocky road ahead as a transplant is a serious procedure, but knowing there is a good match for Mike is a fantastic boost that we desperately needed.

Anthony Nolan

“We are hugely grateful to the selfless person who has stepped forward to help Mike, and to everyone who has pledged to do the same for someone else, by joining the Anthony Nolan register.”

Brandon is set to have the transplant next month.

13. Despite a donor being found, Robertson and her friends have vowed to continue promoting the campaign and Anthony Nolan.

Anthony Nolan

The 31-year-old added: “The campaign was never just about finding a donor for Mike. Even at the outset we wanted to help make sure that there will be matching donors for other people going through the same agonising wait – other people’s brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, mums and dads, and lifelong partners.

“We have been very lucky in finding a match but I know that not everyone is as fortunate. We still hope everyone will keep shaking their faces at cancer and continue to spread the #Shake4mike campaign to help others in Mike’s situation.”

14. Find out more about Anthony Nolan and #Shake4Mike campaign in the video below:

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