Crawley MP and All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Blood Cancer Chair Henry Smith met with Anthony Nolan in Westminster to mark Blood Cancer Awareness Month this September and to celebrate the number of potential stem cell donors in Crawley on their register.
This achievement was 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 Crawley, 785 potential stem cell donors are registered with Anthony Nolan. 41 per cent of these donors are male, and the average age is 38.
“I’m proud that Crawley has 785 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’m grateful to the Crawley residents who have been in contact with me in support of this campaign – I’ve been pleased to work with Anthony Nolan since my first election to Parliament and look forward to doing so again in the future.
“As Chair of the APPG on Blood Cancer 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.”
This event followed the Crawley MP chairing the latest meeting of the Blood Cancer APPG, welcoming parliamentarians to an event in Westminster Hall hosted by Bloodwise in addition to taking part in the charity’s Twitter Takeover by managing its social media feed for a day, and raising awareness of blood cancer support at Prime Minister’s Questions, all during this year’s Blood Cancer Awareness Month.
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, Henry Smith MP is encouraging more people from Crawley, 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 per cent of donations yet make up just 16 per cent of the register. There is also a shortage of donors from non-white and mixed-race backgrounds.
Henny Braund, Chief Executive of Anthony Nolan, commented;
“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 Crawley in achieving our goal of saving and improving the lives of people with blood cancer and blood disorders.”
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.