11 May 2016

Image of Anthony Nolan Trust Visit Lets Students Know How Easily They Can Save Lives

The Anthony Nolan Trust visited The Sixth Form College on Wednesday to let our students know how they can help save people’s lives.

For the sake of a process a little longer than donating blood, every stem cell donor could go on to help someone recover from an insidious and life-threatening cancer.

Every 20 minutes, someone is diagnosed with a cancer of the blood, such as leukaemia, and stem cell treatment attempts to cure the disease through transplants. Bone marrow is where stem cells originate, and stem cells form both red and white blood cells and platelets, without which we can’t survive. Stem cells can be killed in the same therapies that kill cancerous cells, which makes transplanting new stem cells from a donor’s bone marrow imperative.

The Anthony Nolan Trust is a charity that specialise in the research into and raising awareness of these cancers, and pressingly, recruiting donor matches for lifesaving transplants.

There is a waiting list of over 35,000 people for stem cell transplants, so finding voluntary bone marrow donors is crucial. Simply spitting in a cup is enough to determine whether you could be a match for someone on that waiting list, and the donation process, contrary to the old stigma attached to it, is a small needle procedure that causes as little discomfort as giving blood despite taking a short while longer.

Working alongside charities, volunteering and giving the students an awareness of life outside of the college walls is a crucial part of the Enrichment programme on offer at The Sixth Form College. In fact, a former Sixth Form College teacher was representing the Anthony Nolan Trust and spoke to our students.

Retired Geography teacher, Rachael Leah, explained why every student should consider becoming a donor: “Any of us could be diagnosed with leukaemia tomorrow and need a transplant. Whenever a transplant happens, someone has to have given it.”

Rachael continued: “This entire branch of Anthony Nolan, the R&Be (Register & Be a Lifesaver) comes from a story that students should be able to relate to, of Adrian Sudbury, who was a student at Liverpool University. When he was diagnosed with Leukaemia, he was so appalled at the lack of stem cell donors that he set up this project to get as many 16 to 18-year-olds as possible informed about blood, organ and bone marrow donation.”

Rachael returns on Thursday with a team from the Anthony Nolan Trust to enlist students for the register. Anyone under 30 and in good health could help save a life.

To find out more about the Anthony Nolan Trust, click here.
Click here for more on Enrichment at The Sixth Form College.

Tags: Enrichment Anthony Nolan Trust

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