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Blood cancer charity hails Aberdeenshire donors

By Kirsty Brown

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Potential lifesavers in the north east have been thanked for their generosity during the Covid-19 outbreak as a major UK charity marks Blood Cancer Awareness Month.

Local MSP Bill Bowman took part in a digital day of action yesterday (September 9) and celebrated the region having the most donors on the Anthony Nolan register.

Anthony Nolan’s Communities vs Blood Cancer campaign shines a spotlight on work being done locally to ensure that every patient in need of a stem cell transplant can find a lifesaving donor.

The charity’s lifesaving work has been enhanced by an 11-year partnership with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, who work in schools through the SFRS Education Programme.

Some 14,378 potential stem cell donors are registered with Anthony Nolan in the north east, with 22 percent of these donors being men aged 16-30, and the average age is 33.

Men aged 16-30 provide more than 50 percent of donations yet make up just 18 percent of the register.

There is also a shortage of donors from non-white and mixed-race backgrounds.

Bill Bowman
Bill Bowman

Scottish Conservative Mr Bowman is encouraging more people from those backgrounds to register as stem cell donors and make sure that a match is available for everyone in need of a transplant.

He said: “I am very proud that the north east has the highest number of registered donors in Scotland.

“Any one of these could offer the only chance of giving someone with blood cancer 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."

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.

Visit anthonynolan.org/join for more information on Anthony Nolan.

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