A day in the life of Gabrielle Johnson

We chat to Nurture UK’s Donor Co-Ordinator, ex Cape Townian and family orientated Gabrielle Johnson. 

Find out what her day looks like,  what gets her going in the morning, and what her one piece of advice for a new donor is.


  1. Describe in 10 words or less what you do at Nurture.

I look after and support the Donors throughout their donation.


  1. What does a typical day at Nurture look like for you?

I am the Donor co-ordinator for the UK. I communicate with all of our active donors as well as check through new donor profiles and do donor interviews. Each day brings new challenges but Kirsty, Lee and myself are a fantastic team and we work really well together.


  1. What was your day job before Nurture?

I owned my own small business in Cape Town, we manufactured decorative curtain rods.


  1. What has been the highlight of your Nurture career?

Being a part of the Nurture family.


  1. What does the word “family” mean to you?

Family means everything to me, my family is my ‘safe’ place. Someone once told me you never truly know what love is until you have a child – and they could not have been more right.


  1. If you could know the absolute and total truth to one question – what would you ask?

Is there life after death?


  1. What is in your ideal picnic basket?

Cheese, wine, crisps, sour cream and chive dip and wine.


  1. What’s your superpower?

I would have to say punctuality. I am really good at being on time or early.


  1. What do you do when you’re not at work?

I spend every spare minute with my daughter and husband. We enjoy going on family days out, exploring and traveling to new places. We love going to the London parks in summer and being outdoors.


  1. What is the one thing you would say to a brand-new egg donor?

Make 100% sure, before saying yes that this is something that you would like to do and that you are able to follow through with the donation process, until the end.


  1. Describe the average Nurture egg donor in five words.

Amazing, Brave, Selfless, Kind and Caring.


  1. Describe an average morning in your household. 

Busy and rushed!!


  1. What is your proudest achievement?

Getting up on stage and performing (singing) in front of an audience.


  1. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Follow your heart and trust your instincts.


  1. What is the biggest misconception about egg donation that you would wave a wand to clear up?

People thinking that you can run out of eggs or use them all up, by donating.


Contact Gabrielle on gabby@nurture.co.za or +44 770 2737 300


Fact – Egg Donation does not cause Infertility

It’s one of the biggest and most harmful misconceptions about egg donation… One commonly cited by egg donation naysayers.


We’re talking about The Myth: That egg donation causes infertility.


The main takeaway is this: There are no studies that prove a link between egg donation and infertility later in life. One of the most common “sub-myths” is that donating egg puts a donor at risk of running out of her own eggs.

In order to unpack this, we need to take a step back. Yes, it’s true that women are born with a finite number of eggs – but that number is estimated at around two million! While young girls lose a lot of eggs a lot more quickly (ending up with around 400 000 potential eggs at puberty), with each menstrual cycle, between 15 and 20 eggs begin maturing for ovulation. However, usually one “Superstar Egg” is released for ovulation (the one that has the best chance of being fertilized), while the remaining dozen or so are flushed out of your system. What fertility medication does is to fully develop those remaining eggs for retrieval – the ones your body was going to ditch anyway. Long story short? During an egg donation cycle, you’re not losing more eggs than you were going to naturally! Of course, there are a few horror stories online of women who have suffered extreme complications during their egg donations, that have had an impact on their future fertility.


(WARNING: We’re about to get serious.)

As with every medical procedure – from a visit to the dentist to having your appendix taken out – there are some risks – which we always be upfront about. But these are very, very rare.

With every surgery, there is a chance of infection. Many clinics will give you a shot of an antibiotic while you’re under to mitigate this risk, but if you start feeling feverish or unwell, give us or the clinic a call straight away to have it sorted out!

There is also a risk of something called “ovarian torsion” – and yes, it’s as painful as it sounds! Basically, after your retrieval and when your ovaries are a little grumpy, there is a (miniscule) chance that the ovary can twist in on itself and cut off blood supply to the ovary, causing severe pain and requiring surgery. If left untreated, that lack of blood flow could result in tissue death.


(We told you this was going to get serious!)

But studies have put the risk of ovarian torsion at between 0.1% and 0.2% – although donors are asked to take it easy after their donation and avoid strenuous exercise, heavy lifting and activities like horseback riding for a week or two after their donations.

And so there you have it! No, you won’t run out of eggs – and the risks are super low! If you have any questions or concerns, give us a shout. We’re always on hand to listen.