The mother of the late journalist Adrian Sudbury will today help launch a new campaign to encourage students to become bone marrow donors.
He spent the last few months of his life campaigning vigorously for better education and information for young people on the importance of bone marrow donation, winning the backing of Prime Minister Gordon Brown among others.
Now his mother Kay is taking forward his work by launching a campaign to make sixth-formers and students in Bristol aware of how they can save lives by becoming donors.
Kay will be speaking to sixth formers at the city’s Cotham School this morning together with representatives of the Anthony Nolan Trust.
Bristol has been chosen for the campaign because of its racially diverse population, with a particular need for more black and Asian donors to join the Nolan Trust’s bone marrow register.
Said Kay: “Many people, even those who are regular blood donors are put off from becoming a bone marrow donor because of the many myths and misconceptions that surround the process. Registering as a bone marrow donor is not difficult nor is it painful
“By simply giving a sample of blood you could potentially be a match and save someone’s life. That’s an amazing thing to be able to do.
“We were extremely fortunate that Adrian’s life was prolonged with us by over a year through the kindness of one such donor from Germany who was found to be a match for Adrian.
“When Adrian saw how simple it is to donate bone marrow, he was inspired to make sure that as many young adults as possible are educated about the process so that they can make an informed choice.
“The problem that exists, is that each of us has a different genetic make-up which makes finding a bone marrow match so very difficult if a match cannot be found from within your own family.
“By getting more people joining the NHS British Bone Marrow Registry and The Anthony Nolan Trust register then we’re increasing the chances of finding a match for 16,000 children and adults worldwide searching for a bone marrow donor.”
The project, called Register and Be a Lifesaver, is being backed by the Department of Health and the Department for Children, Schools and Families.
More information on the campaign is available on the Anthony Nolan Trust Website.