Call for more stem cell donors in fight against blood cancer

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Rhoda Grant with Henny Braund and Scott Hay.

A CALL HAS gone out to more young people to sign up to the national stem cell donor register to taid the fight against blood cancer.

Highlands and Moray Labour MSP Rhoda Grant has made the plea after attending an event at the Scottish Parliament in support of blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan, which searches for lifesaving stem cell donors on behalf of patients in desperate need of a transplant.

Mrs Grant said: “It’s fantastic to hear that 58,000 people in Scotland have signed up as potential stem cell donors.

“The charity Anthony Nolan has set a target of recruiting another 10,000 people to the register in the next year – and it’s vital we meet that target to save the lives of more patients. I have no doubt that the people of Scotland will rise to the challenge, and save even more lives in the future.”

The call came in response to Anthony Nolan’s new strategy for Scotland, which outlines ambitions to increase the numbers of potential stem cell donors and provide more support for patients.

Henny Braund, Chief Executive of Anthony Nolan, said: “We are delighted that Rhoda Grant MSP has been inspired to encourage others to join the Anthony Nolan stem cell donor register.

“Donating is an incredibly selfless thing to do and will give someone with blood cancer the best possible chance of survival. What many people don’t realise is that it is also surprisingly simple – for 90% of people it is a straightforward process similar to giving blood.”

The event was also attended by Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s Local Senior Officer Scott Hay, who said: “Anthony Nolan is our official charity partner and SFRS staff across Scotland have recruited thousands of potential stem cell donors, leading to a chance of life for at least eleven people with conditions like leukaemia.

“We have worked closely with Rhoda Grant in the past at successful Anthony Nolan events in Inverness. We all recognise the important work Anthony Nolan does and we remain committed to encouraging our staff to sign up to the donor list.”

To join the Anthony Nolan register you must be 16-30, weigh at least 50kg and be in good health. Joining the register involves filling out a simple online form and spitting into a tube. Visit www.anthonynolan.org to find out more and register.

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