HE said it was his last big outing and it was definitely one to remember.
Campaigning Examiner journalist Adrian Sudbury, who is dying from leukaemia, travelled to Downing Street yesterday to present his petition calling for better education about bone marrow donation.
A total of 11,301 signatures were collected in just two months on paper and online versions of the petition, which asks the Government to make sure young people in schools and colleges are educated as standard about donation.
Adrian, 27, has dedicated the last few weeks of his life to raising awareness about the need for more bone marrow donors.
He said the trip to Downing Street had been exhausting but worthwhile.
“I think that was my last proper outing. I am absolutely shattered, but delighted with how well the campaign has gone in such a short space of time.
“Thank you to everyone in Huddersfield and beyond and all the Examiner readers who have backed this campaign and signed the petition. We could not have done this without you.”
After handing in the petition at No 10 Adrian met Ed Balls, Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families.
Mr Balls – along with Health Secretary Alan Johnson – has backed Adrian’s campaign and both will write to all UK schools and colleges in September, asking them to deliver a new education pack about bone marrow, blood and organ donation.
Mr Balls – who had promised to drop everything to be at the meeting – spoke with Adrian, Colne Valley MP Kali Mountford, who set up the event, and representatives from the Anthony Nolan Trust in the White Room at Downing Street.
Mr Balls said he was impressed with the number of signatures on the petition and chatted with Adrian about how to take the campaign forward.
Adrian, known to friends as Sudders, said: “The meeting went really well. The question is, how do we get this 40-minute talk about blood, bone marrow and organ donation into sixth forms and colleges.
“The Government can’t just make it compulsory like they can in schools.
“What Mr Balls is committed to do is write to all the colleges this year, and in years to come, offering advice and guidance as to where this talk can take place.”
Adrian said he and his campaign team now plan to work with the Anthony Nolan Trust, which runs one of Britain’s two bone marrow registers, to provide speakers and resources to encourage sixth forms and colleges to educate their students.
Pupils aged 15 and 16 will already be educated in schools through the Government’s new Give And Let Live scheme, which covers blood, bone marrow and organ donation.
Adrian said: “Hopefully we will have the best-educated young adults in the world and, therefore, some of the best donor registers in the world too.”
Adrian rounded off his trip to No 10 with a tour, including the Thatcher Room, the room where Gordon Brown meets heads of state and even where the PM has his breakfast.
He said: “It has been superb; I enjoyed every minute of it.
“I want to say a huge thank you to Kali Mountford for making the day possible.”
You can find out more about Adrian’s day at Downing Street by visiting his blog at http://baldy blog.freshblogs.co.uk
If you want to find out more about being a donor visit website www.anthonynolan.org.uk or contact the National Blood Service at www.blood.co.uk or 0845 7 711 711.
You can also sign up as a donor, give blood or simply get information at a clinic organised by the Examiner and the NBS at the Galpharm Stadium from 11.30am to 2.30pm on Sunday.