Every year in the UK, around 2,000 blood cancer patients require a stem cell donor to save their life – but too often a donor isn’t available or can’t be found quickly enough.
The odds are particularly low for patients from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds.
There are already 1,210 incredible lifesavers on the stem cell donor register in Liverpool, Wavertree.
As a previous winner of the Anthony Nolan Trust Political Supporter of the Year award, I know the hard work that has gone into achieving this, but I believe we can do even better.
That ranks Liverpool Wavertree 193rd of 650 parliamentary constituencies across the UK, so we could get higher.
Every 20 minutes someone in the UK is told they have a blood cancer such as leukaemia. A bone marrow or blood stem cell transplant from a healthy person with the same tissue type may be able to replace and repair their own damaged cells.
The Anthony Nolan Trust charity already makes around 1,300 of these matches a year from the 500,000 people signed up to its register. It could achieve even more if new people add their name and register.
In particular, there is an urgent need for more young men aged 16-30 to sign up, and for more people from Black, Asian or minority ethnic backgrounds.
I met with #stemcellscousers recently to hear about the work they are doing to raise awareness and encourage more people to sign up.
If you’re 16-30 and in good health, you can sign up by clicking here. You’ll stay on the register until you turn 60. The charity will send you a pack in the post so that you can do a cheek swab and send it back.
Whenever a patient with blood cancer or a blood disorder needs a lifesaving stem cell transplant, the charity searches the register, looking for a match.