SUDDERS’ campaigners were celebrating last night after a shock announcement by Ed Balls MP.
Former Examiner journalist Adrian ‘Sudders’ Sudbury, 27, battled leukaemia for two years and spent his final months campaigning to raise awareness about blood, bone marrow and organ donation.
His final wish was that all sixth form pupils receive a talk about donation to explode some of the myths around the subject.
Now after a short privately funded pilot scheme that dream is a reality after Mr Balls announced his intention for the government to fund the project and roll it out across the UK.
The education minister was visiting Barnsley College to see a donation talk in action when he made the unexpected announcement.
The good news comes just over a year after Sudders lost his battle with Leukaemia on August 20, 2008.
Adrian’s father Keith said he was over the moon at the shock announcement.
He said: “I always thought we’d get a meeting with Mr Balls but I didn’t expect him to be as positive and committed.
“He made it very clear that he was touched by Adrian and his desire to make his campaign a reality.
“He was so impressed about how positive it was and said it was clear this was the way to get people to donate and save lives.
“He said because the evidence was so compelling he would do everything in his power to support it and fund it correctly.
“Adrian’s idea was simply that students be told the facts. He was embarrassed that he never signed up to the bone marrow register because he believed all the myths about breaking your spine open and so on.”
Mr Sudbury said plans were now in motion to meet Mr Balls and talk figures but said he was hoping for £450,000 over the next three years.
He added: “It’s been a big, big team effort and we’re very grateful for all the support the Examiner has given us.”
Shortly before his death the journalist travelled to 10 Downing Street to hand in a 13,000-signature petition asking for education about bone marrow donation to be given as standard to 17 and 18-year-olds.
He met Prime Minister Gordon Brown, health minister Alan Johnson and Mr Balls.
Mr Balls said: “Adrian Sudbury was a really, really brave young man who died last summer of leukaemia.
“Before his death, I spoke to him and said we would do what he wanted to get the message out there around the country that, by giving blood, signing on the bone marrow register, you can save the lives of other young people.
“It’s what Adrian wanted. Even in the days before he died, he was saying to me, ‘please make sure that out of my death comes something good, please get this message out to young people’.
“I want to deliver for Adrian, deliver for all the young adults around the country who need blood or bone marrow transplants.”
Campaigner and former Examiner journalist Katie Campling, said: “This is fantastic news. Guaranteed funding will make a huge difference to the project and help it grow into an even bigger success.
“When Adrian began his campaign, we never dreamed it would reach this level in such a short time.”
“However, none of this would have been possible without the hard work of Adrian himself, his parents, relatives, friends and the army of volunteers who got behind his cause.”
Earlier in the week the project had been boosted by another donation from Baker Tilly accountants who had already coughed up £40,000 for the original pilot study.
Since the pilot study launched 75 volunteers have done more than 80 talks in total to 3,500 students.