‘Pals for life’: Leeds dad praises stem-cell stranger who saved him

A civil engineer from Leeds whose life was saved by a stranger from Europe says the pair have now become “friends for life”.

By Nick Frame
Saturday, 30th July 2022, 4:30 pm

Ross Baker survived blood cancer because of a stem cell donation from Pascal Kreßner in Germany.

Ross was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) in 2016 and desperately needed a transplant to save his life.

Pascal, from Cologne, was found to be a match thanks to the Anthony Nolan charity and donated his stem cells, giving Ross a second chance.

Ross and Paige (left) and Pascal and his daughter.

Ross and Pascal met in person as soon as they could in December 2019 and coincidentally, the pair became first-time fathers to daughters in 2020.

Their daughters have been introduced to each other over FaceTime, and Ross is excited for the day their children can meet in person.

Ross said: “Pascal’s daughter was born just two months before Paige so they will be long-distance buddies.

“He is truly an incredible human being, I couldn’t thank him enough.”

Following chemotherapy many find it difficult to conceive due to the side effects of the treatment.

Ross and his partner Jen relied on in vitro fertilisation (IVF) to start their family. They are now expecting another baby.

Ross said of Pascal: “I am sure we will be friends for the rest of our lives due to the lifesaving gift he has given to me.”

The Anthony Nolan charity finds matching stem-cell donors for people with blood cancer and blood disorders all around the world.

Anthony Nolan’s Chief Engagement and Marketing Officer, Terence Lovell, said: “Not only do Ross and Pascal have an incredible bond, but now their daughters will also have one too.

“Pascal’s act of kindness shows how important it is for Anthony Nolan to continue spreading the word about stem cell donation. Everyone who needs a lifesaving transplant should be able to have a second chance of life, so I encourage young men aged 16 to 30 to sign up to our register. One day you too could give hope to somebody like Ross.”

Find out more about Anthony Nolan’s work and how to support the charity by clicking here.