Students at the University of Wolverhampton are being encouraged to join a register which could save the life of someone with blood cancer.
Recruitment events for the Anthony Nolan stem cell register are taking place at the University’s Fresher’s Fayres in Walsall and Wolverhampton this week.
It follows the news that a current student, Katie Wright, desperately needs a stem cell transplant to cure her blood cancer.
Young mum Katie, from Castlecroft, Wolverhampton, is a mental health nursing student and was first diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma when she was 17 years old, after discovering a lump on her neck.
Following several six cycles of chemotherapy, Katie, 25, was told that she would need a stem cell transplant if she was to be cured of the disease. Her sister, who is her only sibling, was then tested to see if she was a match. Thankfully she was confirmed as a match and the transplant went ahead in November 2013.
After recovering from her transplant, Katie applied to study nursing at university and had a daughter, Shayah, who is now two years old. However, in June this year Katie received the devastating news that not only had her cancer returned but that this time she would need a transplant from an unrelated donor.
A spokesman from Anthony Nolan said: “If you’re aged 16 to 30 and in good health you’re urgently needed to join the Anthony Nolan stem cell register, where you’ll be ready and waiting to potentially donate your stem cells and save the life of someone with blood cancer.
“Every day, five people like Katie, will start their search for a matching stranger who might save their life. Each person who signs up has the potential to help save someone in desperate need of a lifesaving stem cell transplant.”
Anthony Nolan are particularly calling on young men aged 16-30 to consider joining the Anthony Nolan register as young men provide 50% of all stem cell donations but make up just 18% of our register. They’re also particularly calling on people from black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds, as it’s more difficult for people from these backgrounds to find a matching donor.
Joining the register is simple, it just involves a simple cheek swab and filling in a form. Every time someone needs a transplant, Anthony Nolan will check the 750,000 individuals on the register to see who may be a match.
If you are found to be the best match for someone and are asked to donate, in 90% of cases the donation procedure is similar to giving blood. In 10% of cases it involves donating stem cells taken from the bone marrow which is done under general anaesthetic. Donors often tell Anthony Nolan that the side effects may last a few days, but the pride at having helped save a life stays with them forever.
More information can be found here: https://www.anthonynolan.org/8-ways-you-could-save-life/donate-your-stem-cells/why-should-i-join-register