To mark Blood Cancer Awareness Month this September, Colin Smyth MSP attended a reception in Holyrood, to celebrate the number of potential stem cell donors in the South Scotland region on the Anthony Nolan register.
This achievement was celebrated by Anthony Nolan on Thursday 20 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 the South of Scotland there are 8,751 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, Colin Smyth is encouraging more people, particularly men aged 16-30, 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 16% of the register. There is also a shortage of donors from non-white and mixed-race backgrounds.
Colin Smyth MSP said: “It’s great to see well over 8,000 people from the South of Scotland region signed up on the Stem Cell Register. The more people on the Stem Cell register the more chance we have of tackling blood cancer and making a real difference. I would encourage anybody thinking of joining the Stem Cell register to contact Anthony Nolan for more information.”
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 the South Scotland region 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.