To mark Blood Cancer Awareness Month this September I attended a reception in Westminster, to celebrate the number of potential stem cell donors in my constituency on the Anthony Nolan register.
This achievement was celebrated by Anthony Nolan as part of its Communities vs Blood Cancer campaign, which shines a spotlight on the vital work being done at a local level to ensure every patient in need of a stem cell transplant can find a lifesaving donor.
In my constituency, 890 potential stem cell donors are registered with Anthony Nolan. 40% of these donors are male, and the average age is 36.
In total, more than 700,000 people in the UK are on the Anthony Nolan register, any of whom could be a match for someone with blood cancer and asked to donate their stem cells to give a patient a second chance of life.
I want to encourage more people to register as stem cell donors and make sure that a match is available for everyone in need of a transplant. While anyone on the register could be a match for someone with blood cancer, men aged 16-30 are most likely to be asked to donate. They provide more than 50% of donations yet make up just 16% of the register. There is also a shortage of donors from non-white and mixed-race backgrounds.