News Release

Northampton Youth Help Save Lives by Joining Bone Marrow Register

Over sixty young people aged between 18 and 30 years from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints joined the Anthony Nolan Trust (ANT) Bone Marrow Register at an annual regional convention held in Northampton to give hope to cancer sufferers.

The service project, held at the local church on Harlestone Road, Duston, Northampton, was organised through a local member who donated stem cells to an anonymous leukaemia sufferer.  Blood cancer is diagnosed in someone in the UK every 20 minutes and the effects can be devastating.  Convention organisers Kathryn Vint, Hannah Ryan and Dave Edwards invited Jenner Large, Regional Recruitment manager for ANT, and eight local volunteers to the convention.  On a beautiful March morning, Jenner explained that for many patients, a transplant is a matter of life or death. She said, "Matching bone marrow is a bit like getting the right sort of blood, except that there are many more bone marrow types than blood, which means getting a match is much harder. Many patients don't get the treatment they need because there are not enough people on the register."

Laura Parker, 24, from Leicester who signed up and gave a saliva sample, said, "This is such a simple thing to do, and yet it can save someone's life".

Any young people who were identified as a match, could choose how they donate.  Over 85% of donations involve stimulating the body to make more 'baby' blood cells which are then 'harvested' by taking blood from the arm.  Keith Reynolds, from the Kettering congregation, explained that when he donated in this way he had a half day visit to day case hospital where he read a book while the cells were being taken.  "Although they say you might feel tired after donating, afterwards I caught the train home and carried on as if nothing happened", he said.

The Anthony Nolan Trust are keen to recruit young healthy donors as it can take years before they are called on to donate.  "Men tend to be better than women because they make more cells", said Jenner, "but only 25% of people on the register are men".  Men made up at least half of the 60 young people who signed up before the football activity.  Kevin Kofford, 26, from Bristol said, "I wouldn't have thought about it if I hadn't been at the convention.  I think it's a great idea."  Janos Reynolds-Khan, 27 from Harborne, Birmingham agreed, "This is an easy way to help people with Leukaemia".

Jenner was extremely impressed by the enthusiasm at the area conference.  "I can't wait to get the first match and first life saved through one of these LDS brothers or sisters", she said.

To find out how you can join the register contact the Anthony Nolan Trust

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