To mark Blood Cancer Awareness Month this September, Priti Patel MP attended a reception in Westminster, to celebrate the number of potential stem cell donors in the Witham constituency on the Anthony Nolan register.
This achievement was celebrated by Anthony Nolan on Wednesday 12 September, as part of its Communities vs. Blood Cancer campaign, which shines a spotlight on the vital work being done at a local level to ensure every patient in need of a stem cell transplant can find a lifesaving donor.
In Witham, 781 potential stem cell donors are registered with Anthony Nolan. In total, more than 700,000 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, Priti is encouraging more people from her constituency, 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 percent of donations yet make up just 16 percent of the register. There is also as shortage of donors from non-white and mixed-race backgrounds.
“I am very proud that Witham has 781 people who have selflessly volunteered to give someone 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.
“I strongly hope that more people from our community will be inspired to sign up and show that together, we can provide a cure for blood cancer.”
Henny Braund, Chief Executive of Anthony Nolan, said:
“Since 1974 thousands of caring, selfless people have joined the Anthony Nolan register and thousands of lives have been saved as a result.
This Blood Cancer Awareness Month residents can be proud of all the lifesavers in your community. It’s wonderful to have the support of Witham in achieving our goal of saving and improving the lives of people with blood cancer and blood disorders.”
For more information about the Community vs Blood Cancer campaign, visit www.anthonynolan.org/communities.
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