Cecelia Ahern, the author of P.S. I love you, once beautifully said:” Moments are precious; sometimes they linger and other times they’re fleeting, and yet so much could be done in them; you could change a mind, you could save a life and you could even fall in love.”
Helping save lives is what we decided to dedicate some of our lives to at Manchester Marrow. More specifically, we are the student-ran arm of the charity Anthony Nolan, which signs up students/young people (aged 16-30 years) to the stem cell register. This is required in finding matches for patients suffering from blood cancers and blood disorders who desperately need transplants. The more people we sign up for this register, the higher the chance of finding a blood stem cell or bone marrow match.
Anthony Nolan was initially founded by Shirley Nolan in 1974, realising the hardships associated with requiring an urgent bone marrow transplant. This was due to her three-year-old son suffering from a rare blood disorder known as Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome. This inspired her to set up the world’s first register to match donors with people in desperate need. Today, there are over 800,000 people on Anthony Nolan’s UK register list, and each of these people could be a potential donor and save a life.
Although there are many resources at hand, without you, there’s no cure! In Marrow, we have three important missions: raise awareness of Anthony Nolan and blood cancer within UK universities through our events, encourage every student to join stem cell register through our donor recruitment opportunities, and lastly, raise funds to help support this vital work.
As a student, in addition to signing up to the register, you have the amazing opportunity of volunteering for us and to save a life! One of our most outstanding achievements is signing up over 100,000 people to the Anthony Nolan register and raising over £92,000 in a year. Additionally, 1 in 4 people who go on to donate stem cells is recruited via Marrow!
Being a volunteer for us is no hard work. You could do many things, including spreading the word and talking to people about why they should sign up to the register. Furthermore, you need to inform them what the donation involves if they ever found a match, checking medical backgrounds for donor eligibility, assisting them with cheek swabs, and filling out an application form.
If you’re interested in this opportunity, there will be several volunteer training sessions held throughout the year. Unfortunately, due to the current situation, all these events will be held online. We can assure you, however, that we’re doing our best to make the most of it.
To sign up to the register visit the Anthony Nolan website!
Make sure to follow Manchester Marrow’s social media accounts to keep updated with all the news and events:
Facebook: Manchester Marrow Volunteers Group