THE Examiner’s petition calling for better education about bone marrow donation has passed the 8,000 name mark.
The petition, on the Downing Street website, is part of our Sign Up For Sudders campaign, which is being fronted by Examiner journalist Adrian Sudbury.
Adrian, 26, is dying from the leukaemia he has fought for 18 months.
He is spending his final weeks raising awareness about the need for more bone marrow donors and lobbying the Government to make sure 17 and 18-year-olds are educated as standard about donation.
Signatures on the petition surged yesterday after Adrian appeared on Victoria Derbyshire’s morning show on Radio Five Live.
Adrian has been a regular guest on the show since beginning his campaign in May.
So far he has met Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Health Secretary Alan Johnson, and Ed Balls, Children, Schools and Families Secretary.
He has also had the issue raised in the House of Lords.
The Government has already come up with an education scheme about blood, bone marrow and organ donation called Give And Let Live, which will be delivered to 14 to 16-year-olds in schools from September.
But this is on a voluntary basis and does not cover students who are at college or in sixth forms.
Adrian told Five Live listeners that he wants education about donation for 17 to 18-year-olds to be compulsory and happen year after year.
“If it is not compulsory some sixth forms and colleges will say we will do it as a one-off assembly one year and then it may just get forgotten about.
“Why would you carry on every year if it is just on a voluntary basis?
“For this to work it has got to be a regular part of the everyday education of 17 and 18-year-olds.”
Adrian said the problem was that the Government does not have the same power over colleges and sixth forms as it does over schools.
“A lot of heads of colleges will think this is a great idea; it is just a case of how can we make it as easy for them as possible to incorporate this and make it a regular thing.
“It is a case of trying to make the most of this goodwill that exists.”
You can sign Adrian’s petition by visiting http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/bone-marrow before July 23. Adrian hopes to get to the landmark number of 10,000 signatures before this date.
To find out more about Adrian and his campaign visit http://baldyblog.freshblogs.co.uk To learn about becoming a donor visit www.anthonynolan.org.uk or www.blood.co.uk