Could you help save a life?
Press release issued: 25 January 2008
A bone marrow transplant is often the only way of improving the chances of survival for people with diseases such as leukaemia where the bone marrow is no longer functioning correctly, thus affecting the blood and immune system.
Bristol Marrow, a group of Bristol University students working alongside the Anthony Nolan Trust, is aiming to increase the number of potential bone marrow donors by running donor recruitment clinics next week.
By becoming a donor you could help people like 14-year-old Yvette Gate from Bristol. Yvette has a condition called aplastic anaemia, a disease that can only be treated with a bone marrow transplant, but despite searches throughout the world, a matching donor has still not been found.
Currently there are only 4,100 potential donors from Bristol on the Anthony Nolan Trust register and the only way to increase the chance of survival for people like Yvette is for more people to join.
Yvette’s stepfather David, said: “It is difficult to put into words what it means to be waiting. Somewhere there is a compatible donor who hasn’t signed up and you wonder whether they will sign up in time. It’s a very difficult situation for everyone concerned; you live every day at a time and you don’t know what tomorrow will bring.”
Members of Bristol Marrow will be holding a donor recruitment clinic next week at Bristol University’s Centre for Sport, Exercise and Health, Tyndall Avenue between 2 pm and 6 pm on Wednesday 30 January to provide information about bone marrow donation.
Potential donors must be aged between 18 and 40 and must be in good health. They will need to complete a medical questionnaire before talking through the donation process. To complete the process, a small sample of blood is taken.
Jenny Dawes, third-year medical student and Bristol Marrow spokesperson, said: “Currently, people requiring a bone marrow transplant have a one in 30,000 chance of finding a match. The only way to improve their chances is for more people to sign up as potential donors.
“Joining the register is a very simple process but many people are put off by the myths surrounding donation. Donating bone marrow is a relatively simple and painless process, but the effect it can have on someone else’s life is profound.”
The Anthony Nolan Trust is a registered charity that recruits and maintains a register of potential donors and carries out research into bone marrow transplantation. The register is frequently searched on behalf of people from all over the world who need a bone marrow transplant.
Marrow groups exist at many of the universities in the UK. These groups sign people up to the Anthony Nolan Trust’s register and also work to raise the vital funds needed for the Anthony Nolan Trust’s work. As a charity, the Trust relies completely on donations to fund research and the tests needed to sign someone up to the register.