Hundreds boost Anthony Nolan Trust bone marrow appeal at De Montfort University
Hundreds of potential lifesavers joined a register of stem cells donors at a university recruitment drive.
De Montfort University held the event to recruit young donors to the Anthony Nolan Trust bone marrow register on campus yesterday.
About 360 people signed up – making it the charity's most successful university campus recruitment drive in this country. The previous record was 350.
The drive was run by about 100 volunteers from De Montfort's Mile2 programme, who gave donors information and helped them sign up by providing a saliva sample.
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The event was also supported by The Rik Basra Leukaemia Campaign.
Leicestershire police officer Rik had a bone marrow transplant at Leicester Royal Infirmary in December, 2011, after being diagnosed with leukaemia for the second time.
"When you are actually going through the process of looking for a donor it is incredibly stressful and I got one at the 11th hour," said Rik, 54, from Lutterworth.
"Getting people to sign up to the register is to make sure other families going through that horrific experience don't have that anguish and wait for a donor that I had."
He praised the volunteers, who are part of an initiative to improve the lives of people living within a square mile area near the campus.
"They have been brilliant in their support and their enthusiasm and we hope they will go on to run more events like this by themselves," he said.
Jade Frisby, a 21-year-old first-year criminology student, who lives on campus, signed up.
"I'm already a regular blood donor so I thought I might as well sign up to this, too," she said. "You never know if you might rely on a donor yourself some time in your life and I see this as good karma, really."
David Hollis, 25, from Narborough, an operations manager for the Mile2 project, signed up, too. "I didn't really know much about registering before we started working with the Anthony Nolan Trust, and I didn't realise how easy it was," he said. "I think if I was to be picked as a match in the future I would be delighted."
Chloe Suns, 19, a first-year forensic science student, manned a desk where people gave saliva samples.
She said: "I did a bit of volunteering in sixth form but this is the first thing I have done it at uni. It's good to do something a bit different."
A donor session will be run by The Rik Basra Leukaemia Campaign and Anthony Nolan at Regent College, in Regent Road, Leicester, on April 26.
Those signing up to the register must be aged between 16 and 30, weigh more than eight stone and be in general good health. There is a particular shortage of young men on the register and people from minority ethnic backgrounds.
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