July 23 2014 Latest news:
Monday, June 30, 2014
A leading politician is backing a charity’s call for “crusaders” to sign up to its bone marrow register in the battle against blood cancer.
Charity Anthony Nolan currently has 525,000 people signed up and a map has been published highlighting where the signatures originate from.
The Hornchurch and Upminster constituency has 781 people registered, lower than the 791 average.
Now, MP Dame Angela Watkinson is leading the call for more people to sign up.
She said: “I have 781 heroes on the register but the challenge continues. It is something truly heroic to give a stranger a second chance at life. I’m proud to champion this cause.”
The charity was the world’s first bone marrow register. Ann O’Leary, head of register development, said: “Donating is an incredibly selfless thing to do and will give someone with blood cancer their best chance at survival.”
To join the register you must be 16-30 and in good health. It involves filling out a simple online form and spitting into a tube.
Two thirds of UK patients will not find a matching donor from within their families, and need to find an unrelated donor.
The charity can currently only find a match for around half of those who to come to them in desperate need, and they still urgently need more people to come forward.