I promise I wouldn’t ask for your bodily fluids unless I had a reeaalllly good reason but, luckily enough, I do. Filling in a form and spitting in a tube is all you need to do to register with Anthony Nolan, the UK charity matching potential stem cell and bone marrow donors with the 2,000 people in the UK who need a transplant from a stranger each year.
If you’re a match, there are two ways by which you will be asked to donate stem cells: Peripheral Blood Stem Cell (PBSC) and Bone Marrow. Nearly 90% of matches will donate via PBSC in a process similar to giving blood; the other 10% giving bone marrow under general anaesthetic in hospital. Donors from both methods are able to quickly return to their normal lives following the procedure with the knowledge that their actions may save a stranger’s life.
It has never been easier for Bath students to sign up, as the university has recently joined the Marrow network. On Tuesday 1st November from 10:30 until 15:00 we will be holding a spit clinic on campus where the kits will be ready and waiting for your precious saliva. Volunteers will be present to guide you through the process and send off your kits, so the whole process can be done on the way to your next lecture.
Marrow is a UK-wide network of volunteering groups encouraging students to sign up to the register. Since its inception 1997, over 800 of the 100,000 people recruited by Marrow groups nationwide have gone on to donate stem cells or bone marrow which has given many recipients a second chance at life. Younger donors give the highest chance of transplant success, so students are a fantastic source of potential lifesavers – young men and people from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds are especially encouraged to join as they are severely underrepresented on the register.
You can find more information about our plans on the Bath Marrow Facebook page! If you have any questions email firstname.lastname@example.org, or pop by our stand on Parade on November 1st.
photo credit: Ed Uthman