I caught up with Adam Wright from the Manchester Marrow Society, a society devoted to encouraging students to donate bone marrow and not dedicated to the vegetable, which is a common misconception.
It is often thought that donating bone marrow is incredibly painful, when in reality it just takes a few drops of blood, no more painful than the regular blood donation. Adam explained how this procedure has the false reputation of being a stressful experience, ‘In 80% of cases it is possible to extract the necessary cellular material from the blood and so donors go through the same relatively painless procedure as they would if they were giving blood. In the other 20% of cases bone marrow must be extracted from the hip bone. However, patients are under general anaesthetic and the discomfort afterwards is experienced only for a couple of days. It’s been explained as feeling like you’ve played a rugby match and feel at little under the weather. If in doubt ask yourself the question “Would I take a couple of days feeling rough to save someone’s life?’
‘We are a student branch of the Anthony Nolan Trust running clinics around the university to encourage people to join the bone marrow register. Patients suffering from blood cancer require a bone marrow transplant which is specific to their cell type so finding one is like looking for a needle in a haystack, hence building up the register with people willing to donate increases the chances of finding the rare corresponding match for patient. When that person is then contacted and asked to donate they can save the life of the patient, so the main aim of the society is to build up the register with as many potential donors as possible. The chances of a person on the register donating are very low (only 1/1000), but if you are the lucky person to be chosen you could save somebody’s life.’
If you want to be part of this society they have meetings every couple of weeks in the Union of the Stopford Common Room, keep an eye on the Facebook page for more details. They are always looking for new members to bring fundraising ideas and the available roles are Fundraising Officer, Treasurer, Secretary, IT/Communication, and Society reps.
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