University’s ‘Marrow’ team urges students to join Anthony Nolan stem cell register

News Page 1st December 2016

The University of Northampton is holding a two-day event to encourage students to join the Anthony Nolan stem cell register, in the hope of becoming a lifesaving match for someone with blood cancer.

The University of Northampton is the latest university to set up a ‘Marrow’ society, the name given to charity Anthony Nolan’s network of student volunteer groups. The University of Northampton will join more than 50 other universities who have set up their own ‘Marrow’ society since 1997.

The University will be hosting a special launch event on both 12 and 13 December at the Park Campus library, where students will be encouraged to sign up to the register by filling in a form and spitting into a tube. Northampton Marrow are also looking for students to help volunteer on both days. There will be plenty of opportunities for students to find out more about donating, and an information talk will be held on 13 December in Holdenby Lecture Theatre 3, from 12-1pm – all are welcome to attend.

Jess Hamp, Northampton Marrow Press Coordinator, said: “We want as many students as possible to join the Anthony Nolan register to see if they could one day save someone’s life. We need people to help volunteer with us and join the register, so come along to Park Library on 12-13 December.”

To sign up to the register, you need to be aged between 16 – 30 and in good health; you’ll then stay on the register until you turn 60. If you’re over 30, you can find out about the UK’s other registries and alternative ways to help here.

Since 1997, Marrow groups have recruited over 100,000 potential donors and 933 of these people have gone on to donate. Typically, around 1 in 1,200 people on the register go on to donate, so Marrow donors are up to 10 times more likely to save a life than average.

In the last two years, student donors who signed up at university have given 219 strangers in desperate need of a stem cell transplant the chance of life. This represents an incredible 27% of the 808 unrelated stem cell donations that have occurred in UK since 2014, proving that universities play a fundamental role in saving the lives of people with blood cancer and blood disorders.

The University of Northampton’s Dr Livingston, Associate Lecturer (Sport & Exercise), who helped set up a Chinese stem cell register in Hong Kong and started the development of Northampton Marrow, commented: “I have been teaching my students about the importance of genetic matching for those in need of a stem cell or bone marrow transplant. The idea of having students step forward to go onto the register and help recruit potential donors and volunteers is a great cause.”

Charlotte Cunliffe, Marrow Programme Lead at Anthony Nolan, says, “It’s hard to put into words just how amazing our Marrow volunteers are – they are responsible for saving the lives of countless people, and they are truly the unsung heroes helping to cure blood cancer and blood disorders.

“We are so pleased that Northampton Marrow have decided to join the student lifesaving revolution taking place at universities across the UK, and we are completely behind them to help recruit the next generation of potential lifesavers to the Anthony Nolan stem cell register.”

Northampton Marrow big launch event

Northampton Marrow’s first Donor Recruitment event takes place on 12-13 December, between 12-6.30pm in the Library forecourt at Park Campus.

There will also be a talk regarding Marrow and Anthony Nolan on Tuesday 13 December in HLT3 from 12-1pm – all are welcome to attend.

The Facebook event can be found here. Volunteers are needed to help sign up as many people as possible; a training session will be held in Holdenby Lecture Theatre 1, Park Campus at 11am on Monday 12 December.

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