Celebrating the 1807 potential lifesavers in Argyll and Bute this Blood Cancer Awareness Month
Residents in Argyll and Bute have been praised by blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan for the people in their community who are registered as stem cell donors.
To mark Blood Cancer Awareness Month this September, Michael Russell MSP has revealed that Argyll and Bute is 1st in the Highlands and Island, and 5th of 73 overall in the country for having the most stem cell donors on the register. Michael Russell MSP collected a certificate on behalf of Argyll and Bute from the charity at a reception on Thursday 20 September in the Scottish Parliament.
This achievement is being celebrated by Anthony Nolan as part of its Communities vs Blood Cancer campaign – which shines a spotlight on the vital work being done at a local level to ensure every patient in need of a stem cell transplant can find a lifesaving donor.
In Argyll and Bute, 1807 potential stem cell donors are registered with Anthony Nolan.
In total, more than 700,000 people in the UK are on the Anthony Nolan register, any of whom could be a match for someone with blood cancer and asked to donate their stem cells to give a patient a second chance of life.
Now, Michael Russell is encouraging more people from Argyll and Bute, particularly men aged 16-30 and people from black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds, to register as stem cell donors and make sure that a match is available for everyone in need of a transplant. While anyone on the register could be a match for someone with blood cancer, men aged 16-30 are most likely to be asked to donate. They provide more than 50% of donations yet make up just 16% of the register. There is also a shortage of donors from non-white and mixed-race backgrounds.
Michael Russell MSP said: “I am very proud that Argyll and Bute has so many people who have selflessly volunteered to give someone a second chance at life. Donating stem cells is straightforward but it could make an enormous difference to someone with no other chance of a cure.
“I strongly hope that more people from our community will be inspired to sign up and show that together, we can provide a cure for blood cancer.”
Henny Braund, Chief Executive of Anthony Nolan, said: “Since 1974 thousands of caring, selfless people have joined the Anthony Nolan register and thousands of lives have been saved as a result.
This Blood Cancer Awareness Month residents can be proud of all the lifesavers in your community. It’s wonderful to have the support of Argyll and Bute in achieving our goal of saving and improving the lives of people with blood cancer and blood disorders.”
For more information about the Community vs Blood Cancer campaign visit www.anthonynolan.org/communities
Anthony Nolan uses its register to match potential stem cell donors to blood cancer patients in desperate need of a stem cell transplant. It also carries out vital research to make stem cell transplants more successful, and supports patients through their transplant journeys.