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Life saver honoured on TV programme

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By Charlotte MacKay
Annan and Eskdale
Life saver honoured on TV programme

THEY say never meet your heroes - but Colin Duff is glad he met his.

Colin, from Eastriggs, was diagnosed with bone marrow cancer and needed a life saving stem cell transplant.

A donor was found in Germany but the first transplant was unsuccessful, and Colin and his family were faced with finding another donor.

Luckily the original donor agreed to donate again, setting Colin, pictured right, on the road to recovery.

And thanks to bone marrow charity Anthony Nolan he got the chance to travel to Germany last year to meet Danilo Grund, right, the man who saved Colin’s life twice.

Colin said: “I got an email from Anthony Nolan looking for people who wanted to meet their donors to appear on the television show This Time Next Year.

“I met Danilo in a little cafe bistro in Germany in November 2017, but obviously there is a delay with the programme being shown on television.”

Colin’s episode of This Time Next Year, hosted by Davina McCall, aired on ITV on Tuesday night.

He said: “It was emotional meeting him but it was happy emotion, I had the biggest grin on my face.

“We actually met “for the first time” about five or six times, because they had to get all the different camera angles, and by the last take we could not stop laughing.

“The thing I find hard is that he does not think he has done anything special – I am just an ordinary guy who got ill, he is a hero.

“He saved my life and is a very, very special person to me and my family.”

The pair have kept in touch, and Danilo and his family came to stay with Colin and wife Fiona for five days last year.

Danilo is coming back to Scotland in July, when he hopes to be able to meet Colin’s parents and sons Callum and Euan.

Since his transplant Colin and his family have been active fundraisers for Anthony Nolan, and Colin has written a blog for the charity sharing his story.

He hopes to continue his charity work and said: “I was given a second chance of life by a complete stranger. I want other people in similar circumstances to have the same opportunity.”

To find out more about Colin’s story visit www.blog.anthonynolan.org/2019/03/i-think-about-my-donor-every-single-day-how-could-you-not-he-saved-my-life-colins-story.

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