Anthony Nolan Stem Cell Register

Today's post isn't a preachy one as such but instead contains a little more information on a really worthwhile cause: the Anthony Nolan Foundation (linked). I recently registered myself on their database, having heard a talk from a representative and so thought I'd share my thoughts.

There are thousands of people waiting around the world for a stem cell donation, usually to treat leukaemia, and the problem is that a stem cell match is harder to find than tissue matches or blood group matches. So if you register with Anthony Nolan, you're added to the global register and could save anyone's life from around the world (but you don't have to travel there, obviously).

Most people, when they hear the words 'stem cell donation' think of some Middle Age-esque bone sawing, but 90% of the stem cell harvesting is now done via blood, like when you donate blood. Also, the chances of you matching with a person are actually pretty slim, but to think that I could potentially save someone with leukaemia's life is pretty satisfying.

The process of applying is pretty simple: you simply complete an online form, do a spit test (although after October, that is changing over to a swab test) and send it back to them through the post. All of this is free, and if you match with someone, they pay for you to travel to hospital and any work you may miss.

I decided to sign up in the hopes that I could make a difference to someone's life, especially as it wouldn't really require that much effort on my part!