Mike Gapes MP attended a presentation at Valentines High School on 3 May where students were encouraged to register as bone marrow, blood, and organ donors.
Volunteers from blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan visited the Ilford school to deliver presentations to students. This is part of a national campaign to educate 16-18 year old students about the importance of donation.
Mike said ‘The Anthony Nolan Register and Be a Lifesaver programme is an excellent way to introduce young people to the idea of donation. It gives them the opportunity to do something incredible and potentially save a life. The students were clearly very inspired by the presentation and I hope that more schools in the area will sign up to the programme.’
Anthony Nolan uses its register to match potential bone marrow donors to blood cancer patients in desperate need of a bone marrow transplant.
Katie Day, the Register and Be a Lifesaver Supervisor at Anthony Nolan, says: ‘It is brilliant to see Ilford schools and politicians engaged with our education programme about donation. We know that young people make the best donors for people with blood cancer so it’s great so see students so engaged with the cause.’
A bone marrow donation can be a cure for people with blood cancer, such as leukaemia. Joining the bone marrow register involves filling in a form and giving a saliva sample. In 90% of cases, the donation procedure is similar to giving blood.
Jessica Lee, Deputy Director of Sixth Form at Valentines High School, says, ‘It was fantastic to see our students so passionate about the opportunity to save a life. I would thoroughly recommend the programme to any schools thinking of hosting a Register and Be a Lifesaver presentation.’
To find out more about the education programme and the bone marrow register, please visit www.anthonynolan.org