Keele students sign up to bone marrow register
On Wednesday 28th November, Keele Marrow held one of their many Recruitment Events.
Keele Marrow is a student run group who work with Anthony Nolan. They aim to recruit potential donors to the Bone Marrow Register, raise funds for Anthony Nolan and raise awareness of Anthony Nolan and blood cancers. Marrow exists in over 40 universities and they sign people up to the bone marrow register on behalf of Anthony Nolan.
Keele Marrow has a team of volunteers from Keele University to explain to those joining that should they prove to be a match, the follow up - which may not be for many years - will involve a course of injections and a visit to London for a medical examination and then a four hour procedure at a London hospital.
New potential donors initially give a spit sample and fill out a short form providing their contact details. Every person who joins the register could possibly be a match for somebody with blood cancer anywhere in the world!
Adrian, President of Keele Marrow said: "For many people with blood cancers a bone marrow transplant may be their only chance of life. To have a successful transplant they must find a match. Every person who joins the register could be that match! 70% of people require a donation from someone they do not know and only 50% of those needing a transplant ever find a match."
The donation process occurs in a hospital in London and the majority of time it occurs by Peripheral Blood Stem Cell (PBSC) donation where a nurse will visit the potential donor for a few days before donating to give a series of injections. The potential donor then is connected up to a machine which 'filters' the blood. This takes about 4 hours. The blood comes out one arm, the cells that are needed are filtered out and then the blood goes back in the other arm. The donor usually feels like they have the flu for a couple of days after the donation but they may have just provided a vital lifeline to a recipient! The whole process is anonymous and there is a 2 year wait before you can contact the recipient yourself and vice versa - communications can be established via Anthony Nolan on an anonymous basis.
On Wednesday 28th November, Keele Marrow held one of their many Recruitment Events. They signed another 37 potential new donors up the register taking their total since September to 114 new potential donors.
Throughout the year Keele Marrow run recruitment events in the local area and lots of fundraising activities to raise much needed funds.
Adrian, President also said, "I can never thank the volunteers enough, they give up their spare time to do something fantastic. They're always willing to help and go above and beyond anything we ask of them. This might be helping at a recruitment event either by counselling or standing out in the cold trying to get people through the door or even standing in Newcastle or Hanley on bitterly cold days raising funds and awareness, but they always do it with a smile! As I said I can never thank them enough, without their hard work we would not be as successful as we are."
People with leukaemia, and other blood cancers, sometimes need a bone marrow or stem cell transplant to survive.
- the rest need an unrelated donor. However there are millions of different tissue types, and so it can very hard to find a match. .
By getting more people on the register, it increases the chances of finding a match for someone.
If you are interested in becoming a donor and are between 16-30 years old and over 51kg (8 stone) then please get in touch with us. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or www.facebook.com/keelemarrow.