People with blood cancer can benefit from donated stem cells as part of their treatment and charity Anthony Nolan works hard to get potential donors registered, so that those who need donated stem cells may be able to access this help.
At an event in Parliament to celebrate Blood Cancer Awareness Month, I collected a certificate on behalf of Cardiff Central as we have the highest number of registered potential donors in Wales. But I also discovered just how much more there is for us to do.
It’s fantastic that Cardiff Central has achieved this, but there is much more for us to do. There are 1175 donors on the register from Cardiff Central, with an average donor age of 28 which is the joint lowest in the UK. This is important because younger donors have been shown to boost the chances of a successful transplant.
I’m really proud that over one thousand people from Cardiff Central have selflessly volunteered to give someone a second chance at life. Donating stem cells is straightforward but it can make an enormous difference.
This achievement is being 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 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 be asked to donate their stem cells to give a patient the treatment they need.
But 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.
Now, I’m encouraging more people from Cardiff Central, to register as stem cell donors and make sure that a match is available for everyone in need of a transplant. I’m hoping that next year we could top the league of all UK constituencies, and have thousands more people registered as potential donors, ready to help people suffering with blood cancer.
I hope that more people from our community will be inspired to sign up and show that together, we can provide a cure for blood cancer.
For more information about the Community vs Blood Cancer campaign visit the Anthony Nolan campaign website here.