Coldstream drop-in day for would be donors

Are you fit to spit? Then become a stem cell or bone marrow donor.

The Anthony Nolan Trust is holding a ‘Drop-in Day’ in Coldstream Community Centre on June 9 between 10am and 4pm for anyone interested in becoming a donor to get further information and register online.

The Anthony Nolan Trust is a register of potential stem cell and bone marrow donors. For many people with leukaemia and other diseases of the blood system a transplant of blood stem cells or bone marrow is their last chance of survival. In the UK over 1,600 sufferers are still looking for the person that could save their life and the need for donors is becoming increasingly urgent.

The register links with other registers throughout the world and around 37,000 people, including babies and children, are waiting for the chance of life. However, for every person for whom a match is found, there is another still desperately searching.

A match is only found for about 50% in the UK, but world wide that drops to 30% for white people and one in 125,000 for those of Asian or black descent.

Donors from these groups are urgently needed as only 4% on the Anthony Nolan register are Asian. Only 30% of matches are found from within a person’s own family

Anyone in good health and aged between 18 and 40 years can join the register and remain on it until they are 60. Young men under the age of 30 years are particularly needed as a single donation from them yields the highest amount of stem cells. Where there is a choice they are the most likely to be chosen. 72% of all donations are made by men but men count for less than half the people on the Anthony Nolan register.

All stem cell donations take place at a specialist centre in London, and Anthony Nolan make all the arrangements, including travel, expenses and overnight accommodation, if needed for a companion. Registration is easy and can be done online. A medical questionnaire is filled in. The outcome response is immediate and if in acceptable health the application form is completed.

The potential donor is then sent a kit to provide a spit sample for tissue testing and placed on the register.