COLLEGE students took time out of lessons to sign up as potential lifesavers in a campaign launched by former Examiner reporter Adrian Sudbury
Students and staff at Huddersfield New College, Salendine Nook, yesterday joined the bone marrow donor register as part of a campaign launched by the Anthony Nolan Trust charity.
The charity finds donors for blood cancer patients who need a stem cell or bone marrow transplant.
Adrian, who died from leukaemia in August 2008, aged 28, led a campaign in his final months to teach college students about the importance of signing up as bone marrow donors.
Adrian, known as Sudders, brought the message to Number 10 with a meeting with then Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
The students at New College filled in a medical form and give a saliva sample – a new method which replaces the old system of taking a blood sample.
The college asked for the event following presentations about donation, given last November by speakers from Anthony Nolan’s Register & Be A Lifesaver scheme (R&B).
Speakers go into sixth forms and colleges to give 16-18 year olds the facts about blood, organ and blood stem cell (bone marrow) donation.
Soon after Adrian’s death, the R&B project launched. Since then, R&B speakers have given 526 presentations in 291 schools across the country, educating 32,856 young people about donation.
Kate Birch, student welfare adviser at Huddersfield New College, said: “The presentation was really powerful and, as a result, the college was keen to hold the recruitment drive.
“Students want an opportunity to become donors, especially when they realise how simple it is to be on the register.”
Adrian’s father, Keith Sudbury, is one of the presenters who delivers R&B talks to students.
He said: “Adrian’s wish was beautiful in its simplicity. He wanted every 17 or 18-year-old to be given the facts about bone marrow, blood and organ donation, so they are able to make informed choices.
“Students find the presentations very powerful and many leave wanting to do something positive. The response from the students at Huddersfield New College was excellent andŠwe are very keen to get into as many schoolsŠand colleges inŠthe areaŠas possible.”
Every 23 minutes in the UK, someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer. There are almost 1,600 people in the UK waiting for a stem cell transplant and 37,000 worldwide.
Anyone aged 18 to 40, in good health, can sign up as a donor and will stay on the register until they are 60. Their details will be screened every time a search is run to find a donor to help a patient needing a life-saving transplant.
For more information contact Katie Campling, R&B education project co-ordinator, on 0207 284 8264 or email: email@example.com