ALMOST all MPs who are able to register as bone marrow donors have now done so – thanks to Colne Valley MP Kali Mountford.
Ms Mountford has been asking her Parliamentary colleagues to sign up as donors as part of the Examiner’s campaign to get more people on the bone marrow register.
The campaign is being fronted by 26-year-old Examiner journalist Adrian Sudbury, who is dying of leukaemia. He is dedicating his last weeks to raising awareness of the need for donors – and pushing the Government to ensure all 17- and 18-year-olds are educated about blood, bone marrow and organ donation as standard.
Ms Mountford said she needs to check that several MPs have given the blood samples required by the register – but thinks that nearly everyone who is eligible is on board.
She said: “There were only about 20 MPs who were eligible. Of these, four or five were already on the register as donors and some were ruled out for medical reasons.
“I just need to check that a few have had their samples taken and if they have, then we have done it. We are very nearly there. I think it’s great that so many have come forward and done it. It’s a great example to people and really brilliant.”
There are two bone marrow registers in the UK – one run by the Anthony Nolan Trust and one run by the National Blood Service. You only need to join one, as both are checked when a patient needs a match.
To sign up to the ANT register, you must be aged 18 to 40 and in good health. Gay men can join this register.
However, they cannot sign up to the NBS register. To sign up to this register, you must be 18 to 49 and eligible as a blood donor.
In both cases, a small sample of blood has to be taken for tissue typing and the donor has to fill in a form and have a talk with an adviser before signing up.
Many of the MPs who have signed up as donors did so at a clinic held by the Anthony Nolan Trust in the House of Commons on June 25.
You can find out more about being a donor or sign up at a clinic organised by the Examiner and the Anthony Nolan Trust on July 8 at Huddersfield Town Hall, 2-7pm.