A WOMAN who decided to donate blood has said it is the “perfect act of love.”

Lisa Payne, from Basingstoke, registered with blood cancer charity DKMS in 2015 after hearing about a girl’s fight against blood cancer.

The story struck a chord with her and as the timing coincided with Lent, instead of giving up chocolate and wine, the 35-year-old decided to register as a potential blood stem cell donor with the charity and make a £40 donation to cover the cost of registering a new donor.

After completing and returning the home swab kit to DKMS, Lisa’s details were added to the UK’s aligned stem cell registry.

She was contacted by the charity to say she was a potential match for someone in need two years later.

Lisa, pictured, was called upon to donate on February 13 last year to donate her blood to a 77-year-old woman in Denmark.

The mother-of-two said: “Life was pretty busy at the time. I had just returned to work from maternity leave after my second child. Understandably, I was focused on my family and my career, so I’d almost forgotten that I had registered.

“It was emotional to think that I was a potential match and that I had the opportunity to save someone’s life. The minute I found out I was a match I immediately felt a connection to this stranger I didn’t even know – I just couldn’t believe it.”

She added: “I was a little nervous before the donation but considering I had given birth twice, I gathered that the donation would be a walk in the park in comparison.

“I had to go back the following day, Valentine’s Day, to donate my second batch of blood stem cells. I hadn’t planned to be in hospital on Valentine’s Day. If anything, I was hoping to be spoilt by my husband on that day.

“I didn’t mind though, because donating my blood stem cells to a stranger on Valentine’s Day was the perfect act of love.”

Now, Lisa is urging people across Hampshire to sign up to become a donor.

Every year more than 2,000 people with blood cancer in the UK and 80,000 people worldwide are in need of a blood stem cell donation from an unrelated person.

A blood stem cell donation from a genetically similar person can often be the best chance of survival, but only one in three people in need of a transplant will find a matching donor in their own family, the rest will need to rely on the help of a stranger.

Lisa added: “All I kept thinking to myself was that my patient must have been really ill to need that amount of blood stem cells.

“The whole experience has made me re-evaluate my own life and I’m reminded that life is so short to get annoyed by the small things.

“I feel I’m a lot more patient, caring and more grateful for everything and everyone in my life.”

Anyone between the ages of 17-55 and in good general health can go on standby to potentially save a life of someone with blood cancer.

Lisa Nugent, head of donor recruitment at DKMS said: “So many people don’t realise that they have the power to give someone with blood cancer or a blood disorder a second chance at life.

“At this time of year when chocolates and wine are nice gifts to receive, there’s roughly 2,000 people in the UK hoping for a gift of life from a matching blood stem cell donor.

“This could be you, so why not give something a little different this Valentine’s Day and register as a potential lifesaver?”

To find out more and to register, go to dkms.org.uk.