When I discovered the phenomenon of faecal transplantation at the end of 2014, the first question was; Whose intestinal flora would I like to adopt? It already feels like a good opportunity. In my mind I go through all the football players I have played football with, and there are many. I make a top 3 list.
From the selection of teams in my youth I played with and against boys with sometimes a weaker body, but usually with a much stronger body. In addition to being good football players, some boys were also blessed with better genes that gave them faster muscle building, better metabolism or faster recovery. Properties that I (especially with my Crohn’s disease) didn’t have and that I could only envy. If only I were blessed with a strong body… Where I had all the trouble, in preparation for a season, to pass the cooper test within time. I had teammates who came straight from the beach, and so got into the preparation and passed the cooper test effortlessly.
For example, I once had a teammate who had never smoked and had not consumed a drop of alcohol in his entire life. At halftime he always took a currant bun. I only saw him angry once when he was substituted, but that was only 5 minutes. Most of my teammates went to party and go on vacation during the summer and winter break of football. He then started training his body. He was enviously tight in his suit. Which means he had a low fat percentage and his muscles came out nice. His body looked like Jean-Claude van Damme in his prime. He’s at the top of my wish list. When I look for him after ten years, he is still with his childhood girlfriend and completely settled. He has a family. He is still the kind, positive, and thoughtful boy I remembered him. His body was, as always, perfectly maintained. He wants to help me and donates his stool. It turned out to be my ideal donor.
It’s surreal when I wake up earlier than usual the day after my poop transplant. I feel fitter and notice at the end of the day that I have also done much more than usual. When I am written out by my MDL doctor a month later, because after the calprotectin test it was shown that all inflammation had disappeared from my body, I now have what I already felt on paper in numbers. It worked! Oddly enough, I never hear anything from my MDL doctor again…
My donor helped me and left it at that. I will be eternally grateful to him.
At that time I wrote my biography in which Crohn’s disease was already a common thread. The fact that the poop transplant was a success was a nice conclusion to my book. My story was published full-page in the Leidsch and Haarlem daily newspaper. Page size because of a poop transplant? No, I was known a little bit in the region because of my debut, with Crohn’s disease already among the members, in professional football at FC Haarlem. Or because of the 2 championships that I later won at the bulb region clubs Noordwijk and FC Lisse. Or maybe because I was in the first reality show on Dutch television, ‘Your life on video’. Because I had written a letter to John de Mol, a year and a half before the first episode of Big Brother came on TV. Together with 6 friends I had bought a villa in our village, could we film the adventures in and around the house? I think that’s why it became a full-page article. The poop transparency does get a separate block at the bottom of the page.
My book could not really be called a success, who am I to quarrel with John de Mol, a superpower in the media world, because he shamelessly steals television ideas, or my story about a faecal transplant that a whole other powerful world does not waiting for it.. But I suddenly got all kinds of requests from people. That book of mine could be stolen from them, they also wanted a poop transplant!
The very first request, Floris’s, immediately affected me and stimulated me to arrange this for him. I meet with him and in his village in a cafe. It’s an elderly man. He looks fragile but is still combative. He asks my ears off and finally begs for a poop transplant. Floris has been struggling with intestinal problems for a long time and loathes the idea of his last option, a stoma. And to keep this method to myself … I had received more requests in the meantime, so I can then collect a test group to see if it wasn’t just a lucky hit for me. What I found online during my research was promising. A positive result of 70% on average. My Burgundian cousin with Diabetes 2 is also participating.
I call my old soccer buddy to ask for his stool again. That ended up begging because he had already said; I’m only helping you. But now I’m with a begging man. After a month of asking, he agrees to donate one last time. When I happily contact Floris, I hear that he is in the hospital and that Floris, at his weakest moment, has had a stoma pushed through. The hospital said they had run out of other options. What about a poop transplant? Floris asked… The hospital didn’t do that. I visit Floris in the hospital and am just as defeated as him. The fact that I can send a test group of 4 people home with a new intestinal flora the following weekend still doesn’t feel good. This was meant for Floris.
75% of the test group responded positively. My Burgundian cousin had a hypo the same evening. He had forgotten about the transplant for a while and had injected the standard dose of insulin. He turned out to only have to inject 1/3. After a month I receive an email from Floris’ wife. She wanted to inform me and still thank me for the effort I had made for her husband. She writes that Floris could not live with his stoma and that he was no longer with us. A day later I get a call from one of the two women in my test group. The woman with about the same age as Floris. She immediately thanked me, it changed her life again. I now know this is what I need to do. I have to look for a new ‘healthy’ donor.
It took me 2 years and many tests before I finally had a donor that passed the tough test. Of course I only send healthy boys and ladies to their GP and the personal contribution to the health insurance fund, for which they receive a bill, I pay them back. It has led me to test younger and younger people to reduce the risk of (especially) parasites. A good donor has no alarm bells that go off during the questionnaire and is then tested according to the guidelines of the NDFB bank, which was established in Leiden in the meantime to investigate the effect on Clostridium Difficile. Intestinal bacteria know no color or religion, culture, orientation, etc. But they do represent energy and that is important. That’s why I don’t want a donor who is aggressive or overweight, for example. I want a donor who has a good home base and enjoys sports instead of someone who spends all day gaming in his room. None of that is counted at the NDFB bank. As long as the intestinal flora is good, the chance of finding a healthy intestinal flora is already so small. After all, only 4% have a healthy intestinal flora! I will of course go much further in that. After all, I am not the investigating body of a product that would rather not be used anyway.
No, I’m the one who benefited. Of course I immediately shouted that I had cured myself, I was so happy. I was killed for that on a Facebook page of an IBD group. I am in remission according to those members. I still think I’m over it. In addition, it is also better for my well-being if the glass is half full instead of half empty. And I have now been without medication for more than 6 years and without any problems. Even if I should have needed a transplant once a year, I think. That still sounds much better to me than tapping away a handful of medicines every day or a syringe worth a few thousand euros in my arm every 4 weeks, with the necessary side effects. So my search is not only for a donor for others, but also for a good donor for myself! You never know…
But it’s damn hard. I let a potential donor, after the questionnaire of Healthy intestinal flora and my own preferences list and research, get tested through their own GP. Where they never actually have to go. And the question I send them out with is simple: Am I healthy? I would like to have my faeces and blood checked for these points. The action that is requested from the GP is even simpler. He writes a test, nothing more. I keep my donors anonymous, so the GP in question remains completely anonymous. Yet some GPs let their own opinion, fear or ego count heavily and refuse to prescribe the test… I noticed it in the past six years from people’s reactions when I tell them that I no longer suffer from my Crohn’s disease thanks to the healthy gut flora of a healthy person. A poo transplant? In half, the eyebrows went far beyond the hairline, followed by a dirty face. The interest of the other half was immediately aroused, and nowadays more and more. Almost everyone knows someone with IBS or diseases such as Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis. That’s how it will work with those GPs, I think, after all, they’re just people too. I have noticed in recent years that a faecal transplant is much more accepted. Only the general practitioners and official bodies close the door. I have to find labs that will test for me. As good and extensive as possible, is the assignment I give them.
The ideal donor has a positive outlook on his stable life. Has no intestinal flora related diseases within the family either. Is rarely sick and lives, eats and drinks healthy. Does not smoke, does not drink alcohol and does not use any medicines or drugs. Has a fast metabolism. Has not put a tattoo in the past six months and has not been in risk areas. Moves sufficiently and takes his rest at the right times.
Satisfies the following questionnaire: click here.
Are you or do you know a healthy person between the ages of 15 and 30 who meets this description? Who mainly wants to help people and can also use a lot of pocket money? Send an email to: email@example.com. Note: We are located in Hillegom. On the edge of North and South Holland. A fifteen minute drive from Schiphol. A donor donates at our location. Our donors remain anonymous at all times.