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Pass it on event

passiton

Sabras Radio, Rik Basra and Anthony Nolan charity team up to launch #PassItOnLeicester campaign

Sabras Radio will help in urging Asian donors to come & register in a special event on 6th September at our studios. Details of this will be announced next month.

Former Leicester City players Gary Lineker and Emile Heskey are also backing a new campaign from local blood cancer survivor Rik Basra. The aim is to build on Leicester’s growing reputation as a ‘lifesaving city’ by raising awareness of the Anthony Nolan register.

The #PassItOnLeicester campaign, which will run throughout September to mark Blood Cancer Awareness Month, will see every corner of the Leicester and Leicestershire community uniting to save lives.

Thirty-one companies and community groups will team up with the Rik Basra Leukaemia Campaign to host donor recruitment drives and awareness events throughout September, one on each day of the month, to pass on the vital and lifesaving message that it’s easy to donate your stem cells.

The Rik Basra Leukaemia Campaign hosted a ‘Race to 1000’ event last year and successfully recruited 1,000 young Leicester locals to the Anthony Nolan register. Now with a little help from local celebrities they are hoping to build on this success.

Together, we can all be Leicester lifesavers by signing up and spreading the word – so pass it on!’ He added: ‘There are so many myths surrounding bone marrow, or stem cell, donation. It isn’t a painful or invasive procedure – it’s improved so much that now in the vast majority of cases it’s just like giving blood but sadly awareness has lagged behind. Trust me, I’ve had more painful tackles in my career!’

The month of September is particularly important for Rik and his family, it was in September 2011 that Rik was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia for a second time. After this diagnosis, he was told he needed a bone marrow transplant to save his life. The odds of finding a donor were stacked against him due to the lack of Asian donors, despite this a bone marrow donor was found and Rik underwent a successful transplant.

Rik Basra says, ‘September is a big month for us as a family and thanks to my donor I’m here to celebrate with them. But I’m one of the lucky ones, there are so many people out there who haven’t got a match and that’s why we need to get more young lifesavers on the register. 

If you are aged 16-30 and in good health you can join the Anthony Nolan register at www.anthonynolan.org. For more information of how to get involved in the #PassItOnLeicester campaign go to www.anthonynolan.org/PassItOn

For more information, please call the Anthony Nolan Press Team on0207 4246 588 or email press@anthonynolan.org. For urgent out of hours media enquiries, call  0844 840 0103

Key messages

  • Anthony Nolan was the world’s first bone marrow register. The blood cancer charity has been saving lives for four decades by matching remarkable people willing to donate their bone marrow to patients in desperate need of a transplant.
  • The Rik Basra Leukaemia Campaign is a local blood cancer charity, working closely with Anthony Nolan, raising awareness and organising registration drives to sign-up young lifesavers to the Anthony Nolan register.
  • We need more young men aged 16-30 to sign up, as they are most likely to be chosen to donate but make up just 15% of the register.
  • At Anthony Nolan we want someone who has a transplant to have the greatest possible chance of life. However, currently, only 60% of transplant recipients receive the best possible match, and this drops dramatically to 20.5% if you’re from a black, Asian or ethnic minority background. By building and diversifying our register we will be able to provide the best match to even more people with blood cancer.

Key statistics

  • Someone is diagnosed with blood cancer every 20 minutes.
  • Around 2,000 people in the UK need a bone marrow (or stem cell) transplant from a stranger each year.  This is usually their last chance of survival.
  • You have a 25% to 30% chance of having the same tissue type as a sibling.
  • 90% of donations take place via PBSC (peripheral blood stem cell collection).  This is an outpatient appointment and is similar to donating blood.
  • To join the register, you must be aged between 16 and 30, weigh more than 7st 12lbs (50kgs) and be in general good health. For more information about our work or to sign up online, please visit www.anthonynolan.org.
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