Poplar and Limehouse MP, Jim Fitzpatrick, is supporting a blood cancer charity’s campaign to find more teenage lifesavers.
Jim is backing Anthony Nolan’s ‘Save a Life At 16’ campaign in a bid to help the charity save the lives of more blood cancer patients.
The campaign sees the charity attempt to persuade HMRC to include details of the Anthony Nolan bone marrow donor register when it writes to young people with their National Insurance numbers in advance of their 16th birthdays.
The charity has pledged to cover all associated costs and hopes this would encourage more 16-year-olds to join the register. This is important as young people are more likely to be chosen as stem cell donors by transplant doctors.
The charity hopes that if young people are informed about the chance to save the lives of people with cancers such as leukaemia, many more will step forward to register, with an increase of up to 25 per cent in the number of young donors predicted.
Jim, who has written to HMRC and the Public Health Minister to ask them to support the plan, said
“I am delighted to provide my support to Anthony Nolan’s campaign to find more young lifesavers. The chances of receiving the best possible match if you are from a black, Asian or ethnic background currently stands at only 20 per cent. I believe this is a real opportunity for Government to work with Anthony Nolan not only to raise awareness of the need for more young people on the bone marrow donor register, but also to save the lives of people with blood cancer. Poplar and Limehouse currently ranks #248 on the donor register – lets change this!”
Henny Braund, Chief Executive of Anthony Nolan, said: “Every year in the UK around 2,000 people with blood cancer need stem cell donations from a stranger. We believe young people are passionate about helping others, but they also need to be well informed about the chances open to them.
“By agreeing to our proposal, the government can make it easier for people as young as 16 to become lifesavers.”
The news comes shortly after Anthony Nolan revealed that 867 in Poplar and Limehouse are on the bone marrow donor register.