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Renewed efforts to boost lifesaving supply levels

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: March 25, 2014

Organ donation

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A RENEWED effort to try to get more people to sign up to become organ and blood donors has been launched in Burton.

The NHS Blood and Transplant service and the Anthony Nolan Trust are urging people to sign up to become donors in a bid to keep levels of blood and the number of people registered to donate bone marrow high.

The area saw a significant spike in donors last year after the Mail launched its Take Five Minutes campaign, which followed the story of Burton teacher Katherine Sinfield, who battled leukaemia and underwent a bone marrow transplant in a bid to beat the disease.

Henny Braund, Anthony Nolan’s chief executive, spoke to the Mail about the need for donors.

She said: “It’s a simple case of supply and demand.

“We know that transplant doctors are increasingly choosing male donors to treat blood cancer patients, so we need to ensure that we’re providing clinicians with the donors they need.

“Failure to meet this demand could have very serious implications for blood cancer patients across the country.”

Anthony Nolan uses its register to match potential bone marrow donors to blood cancer patients in desperate need of a bone marrow transplant.

The charity revealed that every 20 minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with a blood cancer.

There are around 1,800 people in the UK in need of a transplant.

People can see if they are a potential bone marrow donor by either giving a saliva sample to the Anthony Nolan Trust or a blood sample to the NHS British Bone Marrow Registry.

People must be aged between 18 and 49 and be a blood donor.

At the moment, the Anthony Nolan Trust is looking for more young men aged 16 to 30 to sign up and be bone marrow donors, as they account for 80 per cent of bone marrow donations – but make up just 14 per cent of the register.

It urgently needs people from black, Asian and other ethnic minority backgrounds to sign up, as they are currently under-represented on the register.

More information is available by calling the National Blood Service Donor helpline on 0300 123 2323.

Anyone aged 16 to 30 can sign up online by visiting the website www.anthonynolan.org and filling in a short application form.

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