Jack donates blood regularly and last year signed up to join the bone marrow donation register. One month ago he got a call to tell him he had matched to a patient in need of bone marrow.
Today, he’s been hooked up to a machine which takes his blood, filters out the stem cells and puts the blood back into his body.
Your selflessness is inspiring and I am so proud of you. Today you are hopefully saving someone’s life!
In the UK every 20 minutes, someone is told they have blood cancer. Treatments like chemotherapy and radiation therapy destroy not only cancerous cells but healthy ones too. Bone marrow transplants and peripheral blood stem cell transplants help replace stem cells destroyed by treatment.
Patients are more likely to find a match among potential donors from their own ethnic group so ethnic minority patients face more obstacles in finding a donor who is unrelated to them. Statistically, ethnic minorities make up less of the general population so there are fewer potential donors available on the registry. Currently, only 60% of white patients can find the best possible match from a stranger, and this drops dramatically to 20% if you’re a patient from a black, Asian or ethnic minority background. Those who are mixed race, for example, both African and European or other ancestry, have rarer HLA variations and therefore have an even smaller chance of finding a match.
Men between 17-30 make up 15% of the people on the donor register, yet they make up 54% of the people who donate.
Currently 4 out of 5 people in need of a bone marrow donation do not find a match.
Help save a life! I know I’ll be signing up.
If you want to sign up to donate blood, click here.