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Ethan Davies

The former Wales 7s star has undergone a stem cell transplant

Brave Ethan now on ‘the business end’ after transplant

Christmas is always a time for good, heart-rending stories and 2022 is no exception – especially if you are former Wales Sevens international Ethan Davies. 

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Last week he was able to announce he has found a matching blood donor and undergone a stem cell transplant that he hopes will save his life. 

Davies first revealed his diagnosis in August and explained he urgently needed a blood donor in order to carry out the transplant to combat the Hepatosplenic T Cell Lymphoma diagnosis that blew his world apart. 

Seventeen weeks on, the former Cross Keys and Pontypool outside half has announced on Instagram that a match has been found for him. He also detailed what he is now going through. 

“I’ve had a week of an extremely intense chemo regime, which is a week that I’d like to forget in a hurry. But it is one I don’t think I ever will,” wrote Davies in an emotive post.  

“One day for the body to rest yesterday, with some medication to suppress my immune system ready to transplant. Now here we are today, transplant day, day zero and my second chance. 

“I knew I had a ‘potential’ match for quite a few weeks. It’s always ‘potential’ because the donor can pull out at any time! Therefore, with the amount of things that could go wrong, I’ve kept it pretty much to myself.  

“It was easier that way, not to get other people’s hopes up and receive loads of messages of support, only for the donor to fall through and then receive messages about that as well. 

“That may seem like an ungrateful way to look at all the support I’ve had over these past few months, but it’s completely the opposite. I have been so overwhelmed with all of the messages and the amount of people who regularly check in on me. 

“I feel awful picking up my phone knowing that I have messages from several days ago from friends that I still haven’t replied to. 

“Truth is, not every day has been easy, far from it. And although it’s been amazing knowing people care about me, some days I haven’t wanted to talk about it and wanted to try to forget that this is all happening to me. So, if I haven’t replied to a message you’ve sent, I really am sorry. 

“All the horrible treatment is out of the way and we’re on to the business end of the show now. Now is when I’m at most risk, while my body is getting used to the new stem cells. 

“I’ll be taking medication to keep my immune system working at a bare minimum, which means trouble for me if I come in contact with literally any type of disease or virus! 

“I’ll be like a 5ft 10in baby walking around for a while – bald, unvaccinated to anything, vulnerable to everything and probably even more emotional towards things than normal! 

“I’m so thankful to everyone who has signed up to be a donor (In two years maybe I’ll find out one of you was mine!) But that’s beside the point, because one day all of you who have signed up will get the chance to save someone else’s life and that’s what it’s all about! 

Ethan Davies

Ethan Davies in action for Wales in the 2018 Commonwealth Games

“I don’t know the total figure of direct sign ups from my original post, but I know it’s over the 4,000 mark, which is absolutely incredible.”

Following his diagnosis his current club Pontypool held swabbing events and urged people to come forward to increase his chances of finding a match, which he has now done.  

Having come through the Dragons academy, Davies has played for Bedwas, Newport, Ebbw Vale and Cross Keys before starring on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series. 

He played for Wales from 2015-2020, and with 526 points next to his name, only Luke Morgan (655) and Luke Treharne (638) have accumulated more points for their country on the series. 

He represented Wales in the Sevens Rugby World Cup in San Francisco and in the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast. But since the COVID pandemic, he has played semi-professionally for Pontypool whilst training as an electrician. 

Everyone connected with Welsh rugby wishes Ethan a Merry Christmas and a cancer free 2023. 

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Brave Ethan now on ‘the business end’ after transplant