William Eichler 02 November 2015

Council launches drive to register stem cell donors

Glasgow’s teenagers are encouraging Scotland’s young people to sign-up to be life-saving stem cell donors.

A pioneering scheme from Anthony Nolan, the world's first bone marrow register, and Glasgow City Council has seen 23 pupils from Shawlands Academy in Glasgow pledge to save a stranger’s life.

The teenagers joined the Anthony Nolan register by spitting into a tube. This means that in the future they may be called upon to donate their stem cells to someone in need of a transplant.

Young people are in urgent demand as stem cell donors, as research shows they are the most likely to save a life and have better outcomes for patients.

The council is helping the charity with its 'Register & Be a Lifesaver' education programme - the brainchild of Adrian Sudbury, a young journalist with leukaemia - by reaching out to schools across Glasgow, including Shawlands, Rosshall and St Paul's.

‘This is the first time we've partnered with a council in this way in order to spread our lifesaving message,’ said Amy Bartlett, the regional register development manager at Anthony Nolan, ‘and we hope this will be the first step towards rolling out a nationwide 'Register & Be a Lifesaver' programme, ensuring all 16-18-year-olds in Scotland have the opportunity to learn more about donating stem cells, blood and organs.’

The partnership came about because of the campaigning of local mum Noreen Siddiqui, whose daughter Ayesha has recently had a stem cell transplant to treat her leukaemia.

Thanking the council for its support, Ms Siddiqui said: ‘It's been a rollercoaster of a week, with Ayesha finally receiving her long-awaited stem cell transplant and beginning her road to recovery. Seeing these selfless Glasgow teenagers joining the Anthony Nolan register just days later means a great deal to us all, as any one of them could end up saving the life of a child like Ayesha in the future.’

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