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Burton and South Derbyshire pet preference a shock to leukaemia survivor

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: August 12, 2014

Katherine Sinfield

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A SHOCKING new survey has shown that more people in Burton and South Derbyshire are more likely to help their pet than help a stranger whose life is at risk.

A poll conducted for the blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan found that 75 per cent of people in both areas would be willing to help their pet if it was in danger or needed help but only 50 per cent would put their lives at risk or decided to help out to save their fellow man or woman.

The survey also showed that only 62 per cent of people would go out of their way to help save the life of a teenager in the area.

Now, charity chiefs are hoping to use these shocking statistics to help bolster the number of people signed up to donate bone marrow.

Anthony Nolan chief executive Henny Braund spoke to the Mail.

She said: "These findings have raised thought provoking questions around how far we would each go to save a stranger's life.

"We can all be guilty of seeing a stranger in need and assuming someone else will help the person in need out

"But every day, three amazing donors give someone the chance of life by donating their stem cells, without knowing anything about the person they are helping.

"That is quite remarkable."

The statistics showed that less that one per cent of people in Burton and South Derbyshire are on the Anthony Nolan register.

Katherine Sinfield was the centrepiece of the Mail's Take Five Minutes campaign to try and bolster the number of bone marrow donors.

The 33-year-old teacher, of Balfour Street, Burton, fought back after being diagnosed with leukaemia with only a bone marrow transplant saving her life.

Ever since, Mrs Sinfield has been campaigning for more people to sign up and become bone marrow donors and potentially save a life one day.

Katherine said: "Through education we can hopefully dispel the many myths and scare stories surrounding stem cell donation and increase these figures.

"What's worrying is that these statistics relate to lives.

"We're not talking about materialistic objects, we're talking about giving someone – maybe someone close to you in your family – a chance of survival."

Figures released by Anthony Nolan, a UK blood cancer charity, show there are currently 508 people from Burton on the register, compared to more than 600 in the mid-Derby area.

Burton is currently ranked 515th out of 650 areas in the UK for donors.

Bone marrow transplants are used to help patients suffering from lymphoma, anaemia and leukaemia.

Mrs Sinfield added: "We need lots of young, healthy people to sign up to the register to help save more lives."

She is now working with Burton and South Derbyshire College to try and boost the number of youngsters prepared to donate.

More information on how to potentially save a stranger's life is available by heading online to www.anthonynolan.org/strangers

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