Call for more Midlothian stem cell donors

Wednesday September 9th 2020

Anthony-Nolan-Trust


Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

To mark Blood Cancer Awareness Month this September, Owen Thompson MP is today taking part in a digital ‘Day of Action’ to celebrate the number of potential stem cell donors in Midlothian on the Anthony Nolan register and raise awareness of the urgent need for more donors in light of the challenges to donor recruitment presented by the pandemic.

The day is part of Anthony Nolan’s Communities vs Blood Cancer campaign, which shines a spotlight on vital work being done locally to ensure that every patient in need of a stem cell transplant can find a lifesaving donor.

In Midlothian, 910 stem cell donors are registered with Anthony Nolan with 78 more lifesavers signed up in the last year. Of these, 21 are men aged 16-30, and the average age is 34.

In total, more than 800,000 people in the UK are on the Anthony Nolan register, any of whom could be a match for someone with blood cancer and asked to donate their stem cells to give a patient a second chance of life.

Now, Mr Thompson is encouraging more people from Midlothian particularly men aged 16-30 and people from Black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds, to register as stem cell donors and make sure that a match is available for everyone in need of a transplant. While anyone on the register could be a match for someone with blood cancer, men aged 16-30 are most likely to be asked to donate. They provide more than 50% of donations yet make up just 18% of the register. There is also a shortage of donors from non-white and mixed-race backgrounds.

Mr Thompson said: “I am very proud that Midlothian has 910 people already on the register, any one of whom could offer the only chance of giving someone with blood cancer a second chance at life. Donating stem cells is straightforward but it could make an enormous difference to someone with no other chance of a cure.”

Henny Braund, Chief Executive of Anthony Nolan, said: “In the last year 910 selfless people from Midlothian joined the Anthony Nolan register, each one representing hope for patients with blood cancer, and blood disorders, in need of matching stem cell donors.

“This Blood Cancer Awareness Month residents can be proud of all the lifesavers in your community. To everyone from Midlothian who has taken the decision to join the register, thank you. We rely on young people aged 16-30 joining the register now to save lives in the future. Without you, there is no cure.”

Anthony Nolan uses its register to match potential stem cell donors to blood cancer patients in desperate need of a stem cell transplant. It also carries out vital research to make stem cell transplants more successful, and supports patients through their transplant journeys.

For more information on Anthony Nolan visit anthonynolan.org/join.

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